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Farmers vs. Mother Nature

Mother Nature seems to be unable to make up her mind this Spring with one day warm, the next seeing snow. So how does that impact farmers whose crops depend on better weather to grow?

Dylan Huberman spoke with a Center County farmer to see. Way Fruit Farm co-owner Jason Coopey says it hasn’t been a fun spring, but it’s not the worst.

“No. We had snow and some mid 20 degree temperatures in 2020, in mid-May. So this is not abnormal for it to happen in April.”

But he says the cold has already made an impact.

“I think you’re going to see vegetables being later, sweetcorn being later and even the fruit being a little later. So it’s just going to move back everything that you’re used to getting in the summertime.”

And he says different crops have different abilities to withstand the cold.

“Fruit trees can withstand up to 28 or even a little bit below that. A lot of the vegetable crops, if you get a frost, you’re done.”

He says apples have the best tolerance of all and are growing as we speak, but they can’t take more than a few hours below freezing in the Spring.

“These are actually already the apples for this season are already on the street starting to lift. If it gets too cold, it can kill them. If it kills them. We’re done. That is. You’ve got a one chance shot in fruit farming each year.”

But he says his apples are fortunately alive and well despite the brisk weather. And it’ll take more than a few colder days to change that in the hundred and some years the farm has been going.

“We only have two times that we know of where the apple crop was almost eliminated by the cold.

Hopefully we can get some more sunshine for his crops and for the Penn State Blue & White football game this Weekend.

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