It's too soon to tell
We know that the weather is causing fruit damage and loss. Just days ago, a massive hailstorm pounded parts of California and Texas, causing massive damage to stone fruit and other crops. Frost has damaged crops from coast to coast, too.
If that sounds a little dramatic, so are the reports of losses around the country. News agencies were quick to report massive losses of fruit for the coming year. However, researchers around the country have all said the same thing: It is too soon to tell.
Susan Brown, a horticulturist and apple breeder with Cornell University in Geneva, N.Y., said she had heard of damage, but it was too early to tell how serious it might be in New York state.
"I'm trying to remain optimistic," Brown said.
Mark Longstroth, a Michigan State University small fruit Extension educator, reacted to a news report that 10,000 acres of juice grapes had been wiped out in southwest Michigan.
"The grapes down here are devastated, with 80 to 90 percent affected," Longstroth said. "All the green tissue was frozen and dead. The vines will put out new shoots."
The secondary shoot can have flower clusters in juice grapes, but not wine grapes, Longstroth said. At some farms, the secondary buds were already out.
"We have to wait and see what the new shoots that come out later have to offer," he said. "It is so early in the season that normally, grapes are just starting to grow. We have to wait and see what was pollinated and made it through the spring. We will know a lot more in a few weeks. It is too early to estimate the crop, but not too early to let your congressmen know."
How has the weather affected you? Have you lost crops to frost? Let us know. Check our website for updates on weather and crop losses.