GASPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Warmer temperatures Western New York has been experiencing this early in the year have local fruit farmers on edge.
News 4 visited Becker Farms in Gasport on Saturday. It grows about a dozen different varieties of apples across 35 acres. Its apple blossoms are quite a bit larger than they should be this time of year.
Melinda Vizcarra co-owns Becker Farms. She said frost is the current major concern for the early blossoms, so they’ll be closely watching overnight temperatures. They especially don’t want it to dip below 24 degrees. That’s when they can lose a majority of their crop. Vizcarra explained that right now, they can afford to lose some of the blossoms.
“The tree produces way more flowers than it can support as fruit, so we can tolerate some loss of blossoms,” she said.
She said the farm has only lost its entire apple crop to frost once.
Historically, the area can see frost until May 10, so it will be about a month before they’re out of the woods.
Time will also tell whether consumers will end up paying more for their apples in the fall. If other regions lose a good portion of apples, it will likely mean they will cost more. Vizcarra said she’ll have a better idea in about a month.
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Ali Touhey is an anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2023. View more of her work here.