Local Fruit Farmers Impacted by Unusual Winter

April 12, 2012 Updated Apr 12, 2012 at 6:23 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

...
April 12, 2012 Updated Apr 12, 2012 at 6:23 PM EDT


Burt, NY (WKBW) -The record breaking winter temperatures put some crops and plants a month ahead of schedule, but freezing temperatures have destroyed some fruit crops for farmers. When Carol Murphy of Murphy Orchards in Burt New York looks at her cherry trees, she's beyond heartbroken. Mother nature's bizarre temperature swings are to blame for the destruction of most of the fruit crops including cherries, peaches, and summer plums.

"As a local farmer, if I can stay in business this year it would be surprising. It's just devastating," said Murphy. "We can't make it through a year without an income, and even though we do lots of things, like jams and jellies, tours, and operate a tea room, all of those things rely on customers coming here. If we don't have the fruit, I hope they'll still come."

According to the Cornell Cooperative Extension, warm temperatures in March led to an earlier growing season here in Western New York this year. Repeated frost though, has caused extensive bud and blossom damage mainly inland and especially to cherries.