Crop Conditions – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Crop Conditions

Following a very early warm-up, temperatures cooled off the middle of March slowing crop development and bringing us back closer to normal. In southern areas, peaches are in full bloom, but only just showing a little pink in more northern areas. Apples are still in tight cluster and probably at least 10 days from full bloom. We are seeing hardly any bud damage across the state and at this point crops are looking very promising. Brambles are the one exception where damage might be a concern.

In Lafayette, early varieties of grapes are at early swell or “doeskin”. Peaches are at bud swell, almost pink. Apples range from tight cluster to dormant. Cherries are still dormant. Blueberry buds are swollen, but have not broken. Strawberries have new leaves emerging. Brambles are at various stages of development. Some cultivars have 3/4 to 1-inch shoots. Freeze damage to the leaves is obvious and cut buds show signs of damage to the growing point. So there will be some crop loss in brambles.

We are very fortunate that the recent cold weather slowed development and helped us avoid freeze injury (so far). We still have a ways to go, but the situation looks a lot better now than it did a couple of weeks ago.


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