Massachusetts fruit growers evaluate frost damage

In Massachusetts, fruit farmers are assessing damage to their crops in the wake of a hard frost May 18 that has affected grape, apple and blueberry growers. In Whately, Sobieski’s River Valley Farm reports that it has lost 75 to 80% of its blueberry crop. Describing the crop loss on its 10,000 blueberry bushes as “devastating,” the farm has set up a GoFundMe campaign, asking for the community’s help.

Jon Clements, the University of Massachusetts Extension tree fruit specialist, said some apple growers have been hit by the freeze. He expects there will be more damage in low-lying areas with the way cold air sinks. At the UMass orchard in Belchertown, there was more damage at lower elevations. “A couple of degrees can make a big difference,” Clements said. “The apple tree tops fared better.”


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