Farmers fear for apple crops after late frost

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:39 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Lone Maple Farm owner Mike Harris and his family have been supplying the southern tier with fresh produce and goods going on fifty years.

With apple picking season coming next month, he looks to supply the community with fresh options both green and red.

Yet a harsh frost in late May wreaked havoc on the Southern Tier. Because the fruit was already set it resulted in as much as a 95% loss in crops, affecting his stock in the process.

“It didn’t get cold, but it rained for about eight to ten days, and during that rainy period no pollination occurred, and then it frosted, we got down to about twenty-four here, and the crop is very, very light this year,” said Harris.

Yet relief may soon be on the way, New York State Farm Service Agency’s have officially requested a federal agricultural disaster designation following the deep freeze. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to quickly approve emergency federal funds for 31 counties across upstate New York.

The State of New York is the second largest producer of apples in the country. Crops such as apples make a significant contribution to the state’s agricultural economy and employ close to 100,000 New Yorkers and produce $11.5 billion worth of economic impact annually.