Freezing Temps Worry Farmers

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
Unseasonably cold weather has local growers prepping to keep their crops safe.

Mike Beck, co-owner of Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. Johns, Mich. starts up his freeze fan.

Mike Beck, the co-owner of Uncle Johns Cider Mill in St. John's, Mich., spent his day setting up large fans in his apple tree fields.

Fans that his hopes will help get his apple crops safely through the night.

"Hopefully they'll move the cold air up and bring some of the warmer air down creating a heat inversion," Beck said. "You try to move a fair amount of air."

Beck said it doesn't take very long at all for frost to set in and damage growing vegetation.

"All it takes is 60 minutes at 28 degrees at this point and that's where you can start to lose crop," he said.

Beck has two fans that can cover up to five acres, not nearly enough for the mill's entire 80 acres of apple trees.

And it's not just the apple blossoms he's worried about because the frosty temps can also do some serious damage to Beck's strawberry and cherry crops as well.

"You can try to protect yourself and grow lots of different other things, that way you don't rely on one thing to be your sole income for the season, but yeah we're in a multiple peril situation right now," he said.

This potential loss of crops from the freezing temps comes on the heels of last year's dismal apple season but Becks said there isn't much else that can be done except to wait and see what happens.


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