The first week of spring brought some beautiful weather, but not everyone is happy about it. Apple farmers say having warm weather this early can be bad for their crops. Our Elyse Mickalonis has more on the challenges ahead for the fall fruit.
BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- “I’ve always grown up with change. I see the seasons change before my eyes,” said David Johnson, Apple Hill Farm.
But not all changes are good. Dave Johnson is worried, because this spring’s unseasonably warm weather has pushed his apple crops to develop about a month early. And if we get hit with colder weather, frost could wreak havoc on his already green crops.
“We’re at the whim on Mother Nature. When she’s not normal things aren’t being normal. As a farm I love normal things,” said Johnson. “We’re too warm, things are going too fast.”
Because of the warm weather apple trees are at risk for catching a disease.
“Right now we’re in the middle of pruning season, but it’s gone,” said Johnson. “You prune in dead cold winter time, but I have to stop, because diseases can get in.”
If it stays warm, Johnson also worries bees will miss their chance to pollinate the plants.
“Plants are growing quickly, but the bee cycle doesn’t change much with the temperature, maybe the bees will emerge after the blossoms are gone,” said Johnson.
It’s still too early to tell what this apple season will look like, but Johnson says no matter what happens he’ll always love his job.
“There are tough times, no one makes me be a farmer, I don’t want any sob stories, the challenges are there,” said Johnson. “I’d rather have a challenge from Mother Nature.”
Perhaps, in the end, Mother Nature will take it easy.