Northwest Farmers Worry As Fruit Buds ‘Push’ Early
East of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, it’s been about five to 10 degrees warmer than normal for most of the winter. Those unusually warm conditions have buds on fruit trees and grapevines starting to “push,” or emerge early.
And that has farmers worried.
Crews have already started pruning at the McNary Vineyard on the Washington bluffs of the Columbia River. Around 30 men are pruning the vines, carefully leaving two buds on each spur for the fruit’s fresh growth to emerge.
Vineyard General Manager David Forsyth explained that the warm winter is starting to swell buds with water and sap. That means they can be more easily damaged by coming cold snaps.
“Will that be an issue or not? We don’t know,” Forsyth said. “We do have wind machines here to help us move the air around if we does get cold.”
Forsyth said he hopes to get some consistent cold weather that slows the buds’ development, keeping them hardier longer.
Forsyth also said that it’s been harder in recent years to assemble and keep a crew every year, so they started back in January.
“There’s more vineyards going in. More orchards going in,” he said. “Certainly the immigration issues get tougher every year.”
They are doing more at the vineyard with machines. But it will still take this crew a month and a half to prune all 660 acres.
Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network
For the love of Johnny Appleseed! Why are so many apples left hanging (and rotting) on trees in Northwest orchards after the fall harvest? Industry experts and growers says it’s a combination of factors – but really not due to tariffs, as some people think. Continue Reading Labor Shortage And Fall Weather Stack Up To Leave Apples Rotting In Orchards
In 2019, the federal government delivered an extraordinary financial aid package to America’s farmers. Farm subsidies jumped to their highest level in fourteen years, most of them paid out without any action by Congress. Continue Reading In 2019 Farmers Got $22 Billion In Federal Subsidies — Mostly Without Congressional Approval
Dairy farmers in Massachusetts are using food waste to create renewable energy. Each farm produces enough to power about 1,500 homes. This helps prevent the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. Continue Reading Shockingly Chewable: Farmers Are Using Food Waste To Make Electricity