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Delicious Michigan Apples In Jeopardy Because Of Recent Weather Swings

One local farmer talks about a season of weather like the one we are having right now, long before he was born.  He’s only heard about it historically and he’s 63!  It happened back in 1945.

The weather has been unusually warm and now with threats and the possibility of a freeze, well, it’s got Michigan apple farmers pretty worried.

Farmer, Phil Schwallier’s apple blossoms on his trees are blooming four weeks ahead of schedule.  At this stage they  can only take an hour or so at 28 degrees.  After that their gone, they die.  Just in case you have no farm knowledge, apple blossoms are what bloom into apples .  Can you imagine for a minute what this will do to the state of Michigan’s economy if this happens?  Time to start praying that it doesn’t.

I know first hand that farmers love to talk about the weather.  It determines everything for them, their families, and whatever crop they are growing.  Many 1st, 2nd, and 3rd  generation farmers are saying they have never seen 70-80 degree weather in March.  Old timers have told them the horror stories from back in 1945.  That was the last time we had weather like this.  But they’re saying that March 2012 is worse than the one in 1945.  The apples are blooming 4 weeks ahead of schedule; and, since the weather is warmer sooner and the winter was a mild one that also means more bugs and other insects.  To a Michigan farmer that means an extra month of spraying to keep insects away from the tasty fruit, and they will cost an extra $25,000 this year.  Bet you didn’t know that all of this effort went into growing those delicious local fruits and vegetables you serve up on your dinner table, did you?

Here’s what’s at stake, just one night of frost, in fact only 15 minutes in the mid 20′s, could damage 20 percent of a crop.  Any longer than that say an hour or two, or three or four and it’s a 90% loss.  Less apples mean higher prices.  I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s time to hit your knees and pray for our food supply.  The  sustenance of family farms here in Michigan need all the help they can get.
WZZM 13 Meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer says temperatures could fall to 28 degrees Tuesday morning. Let’s hope Mother Nature is good to us and keeps it above 32 degrees.
undeniably_tina/flicker.com

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