Wet Spring Delays Summer Fruit Harvest

Monday, May 30, 2011

Strawberries! (flickr user *clairity* (cc:by))

Heavy rainfall in the region during the spring months has caused delays in harvest times for local farmers. With the region seeing significantly more rain this year - in New York City's case, 20 percent more than the historical average - local farmers bringing their produce to the city are reporting delays in their harvest times.

In New York City, rainfall was 20 percent more than the historical average meaning produce was not exposed to enough sun — or heat units, as farmers call them.

"We're going to be at least two weeks behind in harvest or ripening," said Joseph Nicholson, CEO of Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, New York.

The farmer from western New York said his harvest could also be down 30 to 35 percent if the weather doesn't brighten.

"It's very difficult in these circumstances to weather the weather, but hey, it's part of agriculture," Nicholson said.

There is one vegetable that's done well with the wet weather: rhubarb. Its favored companion, the strawberry, should be available mid-June. Cherries are expected mid July, and summer apples mid August.


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