GASPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - While Western New Yorkers were loving last year's early spring, it meant bad news for local fruit farmers because after several frosts and freezes, the crop was diminished.
This year saw a huge turnaround.
"It was the complete opposite. It was a bumper crop. It was the best crop that we had ever had here on Becker Farms and I think even throughout New York State," said Melinda Vizcarra of Becker Farms.
Last year's poor crop gave the trees a rest period, and this year, they bloomed at the normal time and the blossoms were thinned to get good spacing. The weather this summer was very conducive with timely rains, both of which contributed to good sized apples.
"The trees got really healthy and they decide how many flowers they are going to have the previous year. So last summer they said, 'Let's make a lot of apples.' We had a great bloom and also we did not have any frost," said Vizcarra.
It wasn't just the apples that recovered. Grapes, cherries, and peaches all did well with more than a normal season.
Vizcarra said that even with the great year, it still doesn't really make up for last year's poor season because people aren't necessarily buying more apples. She said they may struggle to find a home for them all and expect to continue to have the "you-pick" through the first weekend in November.
Though the weather has been great for the fruit, the wet summer hurt this year's pumpkin crop.
"The pumpkin farmers that planted before that rain, some of them got flooded out because it was too much rain. We planted after that rain but that was by June 20th, which is pretty late, so the pumpkins didn't have the yield that they normally would," Vizcarra explained.
Which is why you may see some green pumpkins. Vizcarra says a lot of vegetables crops have suffered because of flooding issues, but that's why farmers work on five year averages instead of year-to-year.
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