Freeze Sours Apple Orchards

1 decade 1 year 2 months ago Wednesday, April 25 2007 Apr 25, 2007 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:13:24 PM CDT April 25, 2007 in News

For orchard owner Sandy Binder, the day the frost came is a day she will never forget.

"It was a Saturday morning a couple weeks ago when we had the 16 degree weather," Binder said. "We were thinking it wasn't going to get down, we thought maybe mid twenties. And they would've survived had the temperature not gone below 25, and it went way below 25."

Normally, the apple trees would be full of blossoms by now, but the cold weather in the early spring killed them all off the trees. And, when there's no blossoms, there's no apples.

The damage isn't just on a few trees.

The frost ruined nearly 90 percent of Binder's crop. While some apples survived, they won't be enough to offset the damage.

"The crop that we'll have will be from what we call a 'rat tail bloom' and this is a late bloom, it's weaker flowers and so the fruit is not as large and it's a little more difficult to get the size on it by the end of the growing season," State Fruit Crop Specialist Michele Warmund said.

While farmers will be trying to salvage what they can, Binder tries to look on the bright side of things.

"I'm going to be a lady of leisure this summer. I'm not going to have that much to do," Binder said.

The cold had a lesser effect on crops like corn.

Early reports estimated corn farmers would lose about 10 percent of their crops.

Reported by: Aaron Cox

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