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By Tom Kowalski
From temperatures up to 80°F last week, to snow and cold Tuesday morning, recent extreme temperature changes have fruit farmers concerned about what this could mean for their crops.
“You can do everything you think is right,” said John Mason, owner of Mason Farms. “In five minutes, Mother Nature can screw it all up.”
Farmers say some of their crops are already starting to bloom, due to last week’s warm weather – but now, a single cold snap can take away a year’s worth of harvest.
“If it stays above 33 [degrees], 34 degrees for the next four weeks, we’re [in the] clear,” continued Mason. “But it puts a lot more pressure on our anxiety…because [the buds] shouldn’t be out this far already.”
Others are less concerned about their crop, but are still worried about what the early warm season could mean for the quality of their crops.
“Grapevines have a secondary bud,” said Sam Best, owner of Lakeview Wines. “So the primary bud might get frozen, but the secondary bud’ll come out. You get a lot less crop that way. And the quality isn’t probably as good as the primary bud, but you’re not going to be left high and dry.”
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