Harsh winter rough on local crops - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Harsh winter rough on local crops

(Toledo News Now) -

Anyone looking forward to peach cobbler, peaches and cream, or just taking a bite out of that sweet fruit this spring may be in for a disappointment. This cold winter has had a big impact on local crops.

The apple and peach trees are bare at Bergman Orchards in Lakeside Marblehead. That's common for this time of year, but what you can't see is inside each of the little buds, is a frozen core.

Farmers say that's what will make all the difference between a prosperous growing season and nothing growing at all.

As a fifth-generation farmer, Barry Bergman has made it through some tough seasons and pretty much seen it all, until this winter.
"The coldest sustained sub-freezing temperatures I've ever seen!" he said

So many days of subzero temperatures has Bergman and his family a bit worried to see what spring and summer will bring.

"They are sensitive," he said. "And I can see a lot of damage already in the stone fruit."

He's hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Bergman says if the temperature stays in the single digits or negative this winter, local farmers may have to consider importing their produce from outside the area.

"We promote our other fruits and vegetables that we do have even more. If it's not there, it's not there," Bergman said. "There's not a whole lot that you can do."

He says his crop has surprised him in the past and weathered through some pretty rough winters, but only time will tell if we can expect the same results this year.

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