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Farmers: Erratic weather devastating Michigan fruits

May 10, 2012 | 0 comments

Michigan fruit growers say this year's yield is shaping up as the worst in memory.

A rare extended period of summerlike temperatures in March caused trees to blossom early, only to be zapped by April frosts and freezes.

Farmers and extension agents say the one-two punch has all but wiped out the tart cherry crop.

Other orchard fruits such as sweet cherries, apples, pears and peaches have suffered extensive damage.

Juice grapes are another casualty.

Fifty-four-year-old David Rabe of Oceana County says he's been farming nearly all his life and has never seen it this bad.

Only his asparagus may survive.

Bob Sutherland of the fruit products company Cherry Republic says he ordered 150,000 pounds of cherries from Poland to make sure he wouldn't run short.

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