It was going to get cold really cold early this morning, andthat had area apple growers worried about potentially devastatinglosses. Meteorologist Nathan Foster at the National Weather Service officein South Burlington forecast a low of 24 degrees at midnight Fridayinto Saturday, followed by lows of 23 degrees tonight and 28degrees Sunday night, before the cold snap ends by Monday night. We ve had some concerns about apples and things that are inbloom, Foster said. It can t be good. Bill Suhr of Champlain Orchards in Shoreham said Friday the treesin his 130-acre orchard are in full bloom, and that at 25 degreesor below, you lose 90 percent of your potential crop. Neodymium Disk Magnet
Every bud produces five flowers and we can t have five applescompeting, so in some ways this will help us thin the crop, but a90 percent kill is a serious problem, Suhr said. The lows predicted by Foster will be flirting with record lows,recorded as 24 degrees for the first two nights of the cold snap,in 1947 and 1934, respectively, and 27 degrees for the third night,recorded in 1978. The precipitation will probably end in the next few hours, Fostersaid Friday afternoon. The clouds will clear out, he said, and thetemperature will drop as a result. If it wasn t clear, it wouldn tbe quite as cold. Neodymium Disk Magnet Manufacturer
Early bloom, late frost Bob Douglas, with his brother Scott, runs an orchard in Shorehamthat dates back to 1898, when it was founded by theirgreat-grandparents. Douglas said his trees also were in full bloom,thanks to the warm days in March, when the highs hit the 80s. We knew early we were going to be in trouble, Douglas said. Everything budded out way too early, and you re going to haveearly frosts. Arc NdFeB Magnets
We shouldn t be at bloom for another two and a halfweeks. Like Suhr, Douglas said his trees would be unharmed down to about25 degrees; after that, all bets were off. He said he had broughtin 40 hives of bees last week to pollinate his 65 acres ofMacintosh and 14 other varieties of apples, but that the bees hadmostly holed up in their hives.