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A catastrophic freeze has wiped out about 80 per cent of Ontario's apple crop and has the province's fruit industry looking at losses already estimated at more than $100 million.
"This is the worst disaster fruit growers have ever, ever experienced," orchard owner Keith Wright said Friday.
"We've been here for generations and I've never heard of this happening before across the province. This is unheard of where all fruit growing areas in basically the Great Lakes area, in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York State, Ontario, are all basically wiped out. It's unheard of," the Harrow, Ont.-area grower said.
A rare extended period of summerlike temperatures in March caused trees to blossom early, only to be zapped by an unrelenting series of April frosts and freezes. The one-two punch killed many buds, while recent cold snaps and rainstorms have discouraged honeybees from pollinating those that survived.
Farmers and agricultural extension agents said the tart cherry crop is all but wiped out in most places, while sweet cherries, apples, pears and other fruits are heavily damaged. Juice grapes are another casualty. Many growers probably won't bother harvesting their meager yields, focusing instead on keeping trees healthy for next year, said Ken Nye, commodity specialist for the Michigan Farm Bureau.
"This is the worst that Michigan has experienced in the past 50 years at least," Nye said. "I don't know how far you'd have to go back to find something similar."
Michigan produces three-fourths of the nation's tart cherries, used primarily in pies and other food products, and 20 percent of its sweet cherries, a popular table fruit. It ranks third nationally in apple production, behind Washington and New York.
Originally posted by aboutface
reply to post by Danbones
Hi, Danbones! Every time I click on your profile to see if you perhaps made a thread about the predictions, my cursor jumps to the thread title on this page. (What's up with that?) So if you haven't done so already, would you think about doing a thread on it?