Spring Freezes Mess Up Fruit And Vegetable Crops
Michigan farmers are looking at serious damage from early spring freezes. We’ve had two nights of freezing overnight temperatures this week. Coupled with two other freezes in April, it’s been a bad spring for fruit and vegetable producers in Michigan. Michigan Farm News, the information arm of the Michigan Farm Bureau, reports just about all emerging vegetable and fruit crops in the state are affected. Producers are continuing to inspect fields and orchards to get a handle on the effect of the cold weather. Some are sort of optimistic. Others are pointing to significant and unrecoverable damages for this year. MFN reports that in Southwest Michigan, MSU Extension Small Fruit Educator Mark Longstroth expects moderate to severe damage for all fruit crops following the freeze.
Following the freezing conditions on Monday the 11th, and again overnight, added to the April freezes, it may be another week before producers have a solid idea what kind of damages they’re facing. Michigan’s tart cherry producers are especially hard hit this year. A lawsuit against Turkey for dumping cherries on the market failed to get a favorable court response. So the combination of already low cherry prices mixed in with the new orchard damage has a number of producers considering whether to even try to save what portions of their crop might be viable.