Fruit Growers Eyeing Warm Temperatures

Fruit Growers Eyeing Warm Temperatures

Growers across the Northeast and Midwest are keeping an eye on the weather as temperatures are warmer than usual for this time of year.

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Joe Heberle of Hamlin, NY, tells WHAM-TV his peaches are about a month ahead.

Temperatures this month have been more than 20 degrees above normal.

“For the last four weeks of winter, we really don’t like seeing temperatures above the 40s,” Bob King, director of Monroe Community College’s Agricultural & Life Sciences institute told WHAM-TV. “We like to see more moderate cold temperatures. It’s necessary to control certain types of disease.”

King says weed pressure is beginning thanks to this warm up as well.

Ed Robinette of Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery in Grand Rapids, MI, is also concerned about the warm temperatures in his area.

Robinette tells WZZM-TV, he’s worried about a potential repeat of 2012.

“We are planning accordingly, and watching our spending,” he says.

However, growers still say it’s too soon to worry.

“We’re not too nervous at this point,” Phil Schwallier, Michigan State University Extension agent for tree fruit tells Fox17-TV.  “It depends on what happens over the next 30 days. If it gets to 60 and stays there, we’d probably have an early year.”