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Ohio Fruit Crop in Jeopardy

Ohio Fruit Crop in Jeopardy

(Cincinnati,Oh.)--Ohio's fruit crops may have suffered severe damage during one of Ohio's coldest, and snowiest winters in recent years.

President of the Ohio Fruit Growers Marketing Association, Bill Dodd says "We believe that the apple crop is going to make it through without any issues, but we have some real concerns about the peach crop. Whenever you start getting around 10 below zero you start having damage, and we've had in some places in Ohio, multiple nights colder than 10 below zero."

 

Peaches a more sensitive fruit, can survive freezing temperatures but not usually temps around -10 degrees. Dodd says there’s not much you can do when it's ten below zero, as a matter of fact there’s nothing you can do."

 

Dodd point out that most farmers don’t put all their eggs in one basket, but grow a variety of different fruit. Ohio farmers produce Peaches, apples, pumpkins, berries, and some run a family farm market. "The way that you protect yourself as a business person, is by diversifying and growing multiple crops so that if you lose one of them you can offset that loss with some other products that you produce." Dodd says. Ohio Growers may be able to take losses to their peach crop, as long as other crops fair better. Dodd says growers are a little more "Optimistic on the other things, a little bit pessimistic, worried or concerned about the peach crop."

 

With most apple and peaches grown on high ground, warming temperatures around the state should not cause any flood damage to the fruit fields, from potential heavy rain and melting snow.

 

Ohio normally consumes more peaches than are regularly produced in the state, so it’s typical for peaches to be imported. Dodd says "I know they grow a lot of Peaches in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Michigan so depending on what kind of crop they have, will be what influences the pricing and weather they are a higher price in the grocery store this summer or not."

 

But with all those states recently affected by severe winter storms, which blanked the states with several inches of snow and ice, Ohio may be looking at shortage of the fruit. "If our crop is light, it's likely that there will be peaches coming in from other areas, unless of course they have damage and problems because it’s been cold everywhere." Dodd adds.

 

Dodd states now all that's left to do is wait and see how the peach crop will fair, saying "We will have a much better idea of where we are at, when we get towards the first of May, when everything starts to come into bloom, we will be able to put a little bit better number on it".

 

With the first day of spring hitting on March, 20. 2014. Dodd agrees there is nothing you can do to prevent cold weather damage but Ohio’s "apple crop looks like it’s come through this (winter) so far," but "we still have a long way to go too, we have to get though spring freezes and this is just the start of the season."

 

 

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