Orchards deal with spring Freeze Warnings

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The recent unseasonably cold weather has some local farmers concerned about the potential damage to this year’s fruit crops.

Orchard workers at Robinette’s near Grand Rapids have been taking every precaution to protect their crops from the cold temperatures. When it dips below freezing, Robinette’s uses wind machines to help bring the warm air back down as it rises up and away from the trees.

Some of those apple trees have already started budding. The owner of Robinette’s, Ed Robinette says buds that haven’t opened are much heartier than their flowery counterparts.

Recently, a few nights dipped below freezing did damage to some fruit trees. It’s too early to tell the extent of the damage, however, Robinette says all is not lost if some apples fall victim to the bitter cold.

“If we are short on fruit, we might have to buy from other growers here in the state. Even in 2012 when we were totally frozen. We were able to buy fruit from Michigan from other growers. If somebody has 500 acres and they have 5 percent of a crop, that’s still quite a few apples,” Robinette said. “We just have to deal with it, we hope that it’s done, and that spring is really here this time.”