Fruit-growers seem to have dodged frost bullet

5:14 PM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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Last year's unusual weather destroyed roughly 90 percent of Michigan's apple crop.

SPARTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Michigan fruit tree growers who suffered devastating freeze losses one year ago seem to have sustained less serious damage from this week's late frost.

Growers took extraordinary steps ahead of Monday's frost and freeze warnings, using helicopters, wind machines, orchard heaters and bonfires to keep the cold temperatures from nipping blossoms.

Michigan State University extension agent Bob Tritten says some apple trees in southeastern Michigan had "as much as 50 to 60 percent bud kill," but there still could be a good crop barring further cold weather.

In western Michigan, Don Armock tells MLive.com his sweet cherry and apple crops look good for this season. He's an owner of Riveridge Produce Marketing and Fruit Ridge Farm Market in Sparta Township, north of Grand Rapids.

Associated Press

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