Warm weather worries some fruit farmers

Posted at 9:48 AM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 09:48:48-05

This warm weather we're having could mean trouble for Michigan's fruit crops.

Farmers across the state are worried we might see a repeat of 2012 when temperatures hit 80 plus degrees in March.

That warm spell, followed by a cold snap, damaged a lot of fruit crops, because those trees need a cold winter to thrive in spring and summer.

Cherry growers up north and farmers statewide are concerned. But, while there is the potential of another cold snap in the next few weeks, it isn't likely.

Remember this: four years ago there was a heatwave in Mid-Michigan, with temperatures soaring well above 80 degrees.

People were forced to turn on their air conditioners and fans, and pulled their shorts and sandals out of the closet.

While it's nowhere near 80 degrees today, temperatures are warming up. We reached near 70 degrees earlier this week, and it's a warm spell that has fruit growers worried.

Fruit trees bud when its warm, but if it freezes again, the buds die.

Back in 2012, fruit farmers lost 90% to 100% of their crops including apples, and cherries, which Michigan is known for.

But, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids says there's no reason right now to be concerned: it's an El Nino year.