Lack of snow could impact cherry farmers
Wed, 11 Jan 2012 00:16:53 GMT —
The lack of snow has impacted the "way of life" here in Northern Michigan from ski resorts, to ice fishing, to canceled winter festivals.
It is also causing concern within the state's farming community.
Normally, Francis Ottow would be tromping through a foot and a half of snow while taking care of his cherry orchard in Leelanau County, but not this year.
Cherry Bay Orchards Crop Specialist, Francis Otto says, "This is very abnormal standing out here 10th of January in short sleeves and a vest, its pretty unnormal."
While the unexpected surprise of warmth and sunshine may feel great, low snow levels are dangerous for cherry trees. The snow acts as insulation, a barrier from freezing temperatures.
Otto says, "If I get down to zero degrees next week, without any change for trees to gradually harden off and get used to cold weather, than you can get trunk injury."
There is nothing farmers can do to fix Mother Nature, but Otto says he will be watching the weather closely over the next couple months.
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