Regional report on southeast Michigan fruit – April 30, 2012
Frost damage was extensive over the weekend. Please send me your reports of cold temperatures at your southeast Michigan farm, and the extent of flower/fruit bud damage.
Over the weekend, we experienced three more freeze events across east Michigan. Sunday morning (April 29) was the worst of the three for most of the region, with the exception of Petersburg and Hudson, Mich., where Friday morning (April 27) was also very cold. Low temperatures reported at our Enviro-weather stations were mostly in the low to mid-20s. However, in my calls, emails and text messages to and from almost two dozen fruit growers on Sunday, many of you reported temperatures in the high teens and lower 20s.
Damage to most of the remaining flower/fruit buds of tree fruit crops was extensive. I have talked to many fruit growers that cannot find a viable bud on apples, pears, peaches, sweet and tart cherries or plums. Damage to grapes and blueberries are likely. Fruit crops growing in the southern tier of Michigan counties have fared a bit better, although there is still damage there.
If this describes the situation on your farm, my heart has been very heavy for you these past few days.
I am looking for other reports of cold temperatures at your farm and if known, the extent of flower/fruit bud damage. Please email me sometime today or tonight (April 30) if possible.
I am heading to several orchards today to begin to access crop damage. With warm temperatures predicted for later this week, we should be able to tell more precisely the crop load by the end of the week.
The rest of the state also had a major freeze last Friday morning, with extensive damage. A frequent term to describe the situation I have heard from growers these past two days has been “it is what it is.” This says it all.
Look for a complete fruit crop update report from me tomorrow, May 1.