Tip Sheets

So far so good for New York fruit crops, but ‘things can change quickly’

Media Contact

Kaitlyn Serrao

With temperatures expected to hit the 50s in Upstate New York in the final week of February, a major cold event in March could lead to trouble for New York fruit crops. Last year, some apple orchards and wineries across the state were impacted by a mid-May freeze.

Jason Londo

Associate professor of fruit crop physiology and climate adaptation

Jason Londo, associate professor of fruit crop physiology and climate adaptation, says so far, the mild winter has been okay for fruit crops, but things can change quickly with one extreme weather event.

Londo says:

In general, this winter has been very mild and as a result, freeze resistance in fruit crops is lower than what would have occurred if our temperatures had been lower.  Since we haven’t had any polar vortex events yet, there hasn’t been any concern with damage.

“The extended forecast doesn’t look scary either, but we all know things can change quickly.  So, for now, we are ok.

“We don’t have a lot of safety margin in freeze response in general, so if we get a major cold event in March, then things could be dicey.  If March is as comparably warm as January and February have been, we would be on course for early budbreak and potentially frost risk.”

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