Weather a concern for fruit growers

Riding along with Steve Hirsch, as he maneuvered his pickup through the Hirsch Fruit Farm orchard in Ross County Ohio it didn’t look like the 22nd of March. In fact Hirsch, who serves as President of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, says the tree fruit is way ahead of where it should be.

“If the weather stays like this, that’s fine everything will just be a little early,” Hirsch said. “But if we have a drastic weather change it could really cause some problems for growers.”

As far as what crop is the most vulnerable to a cold snap, Steve says it depends on the stage of the crop is that day.

“Right now the nectarines and the plums are full bloom so they would be the most vulnerable right now,” said Hirsch. “According to the weather they’ll get through bloom without any problem, but we still have to worry beyond that, apples will probably be in bloom the middle to end of next week.”

As you might imagine, with everything nearly 3 weeks ahead of normal, there is a lot of activity around the Hirsch Fruit Farm.

“We thought we had three weeks to get everything done, so now we are doing stuff that we would normally do three weeks from now, plus the stuff we didn’t get done yet,” the 4th generation fruit grower said. “We’re pruning, we’re trying to get fertilizers on, we’re trying to get a little spraying done, because it looks like from the asparagus we went by, we’re going to be harvesting something next week.”

Audio: Steve Hirsch, Hirsch Fruit Farm, Ross Co. Ohio (7:00 MP3)

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