Fairport, N.Y.—Unseasonably warm winter weather that gave way to extreme cold did its share of damage to local fruit crops.
Farmers are still assessing just how much has been lost, but the early reviews are not encouraging.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County said farmers throughout the region are reporting losses of up to 75 percent for their apple crop.
“I would say we are in that range. We are saying down 80 percent,” said Ned Morgan of Morgan's Farm Market in Marion.
Orbaker's Fruit Farms of Williamson, Wayne County estimates a loss of 70-80 percent of its crop.
Empire and McIntosh were some of the varieties hit hardest, according to owner Gary Orbaker.
The price paid by consumers may not change soon; but Orbaker expects there to be a rise come fall when apples are harvested.
Conversely, the strawberry crop is mixed. Some growers have been able to frost-protect their plants.
“We lost, probably, some of the very first berries. Some of the berries are a little smaller than normal,” said Mary Chase of Chase Farms Market in Fairport. The strawberry yield is down, but the farm says it has not determined how much was lost.
Chase Farms is still harvesting berries. The farm is concerned that weather prompted an earlier start to the season than usual and few customers know berries are available in what is traditionally a short season.
Gro-Moore Farms in Henrietta said its strawberry crop is in good shape.
Peaches, pears, and apricots also suffered great damage, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension.