Michigan farmers concerned about apple crops amid warm temperatures, early bud

Posted at 6:34 AM, Mar 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-14 06:34:00-04

While many of us have been enjoying the warm weather, it has apple farmers worried because trees are starting to bud, and a sudden freeze could ruin this year's crops.

Nick Schweitzer's family has been growing apples in the Sparta area for over 150 years. He said their crop is already budding after a couple of weeks of 70-degree weather.

Scheweitzer asid if the apple buds continue to sprout and then temperatures dip below freezing, it could kill the blossom and lead to no apples.

"There's always challenges with weather every year, some years early, and others such as this one, it's always concerning the springs and a little more anxiety inducing, because then we have to worry about cold mornings and watch the forecast a little bit more closely," he said.

The danger zone for the buds is right before the flower starts to open. The longer it takes for that development, the better chances of a good crop.

The Michigan Farm Bureau said it is concerned, but cautiously optimistic about this growing season.

They said as long as we don't have huge swings up or down in temperature, the crops should be OK.