Nov 15, 2012Unprecedented weather hits Ontario fruit farmers hard
Chris Hall’s family has been growing apples in Brockville, Ontario, since 1947. Hall learned as a boy that the orchards usually produce myriad pink and white blossoms in late May. This year, unseasonably warm temperatures brought out the blossoms in April. After the warm spell, temperatures suddenly dropped below freezing, and Hall lost 20 percent of his apples.
Hall’s not the only Ontario farmer reeling from a chaotic spring and summer. Some growers lost their whole crop. “There are two or three farms in our area that didn’t even open their doors this season because they didn’t have any apples,” Hall said. “A hundred years of [farming], and a guy doesn’t even have one bushel of apples. It’s just unheard of.”
David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said that 2012 has been marked by extraordinary weather, calling the early spring “unprecedented.”The devastation of crops following the frosts caused about $100 million in losses to the apple industry in Ontario and around the Great Lakes area, Phillips said. The Dominion
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