Cold temps don't concern apple growers - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Cold temps don't concern apple growers


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—While the exceptionally cold January has some farmers concerned about crops, but local apple orchards aren't concerned.

"We had adequate moisture," said Ralph Yates, owner of Fruit Acres Inc. "And once we got to mid-October, the temperatures declined over a month or two and that allowed the trees to harden off, they dropped their foliage, harvest was finished and they just kind of got in to winter mode."

In 2012-- a late frost killed apple blossoms and made for one of the worst harvests in 60 years. Yates says it's those unexpected, out of season events that hurt the crop most.

"Typically at this time of year, in mid to late January, the trees are at their heartiest and they can really with stand these cold temperatures," Yates said.

Jay Clark just started his orchard, Tyler Jay Company two years ago. This year he planted another 2200 trees. He says the cold might cause problems for those younger trees.

"We might lose a few if our root structure wasn't deep enough on our new plantings," Clark said. "Time will tell in the spring."

Ultimately, only time will tell if the brutal temps hurt the apple crop.

"Typically around Mother's day, the middle of May, we'll see the blossoms there and we'll know if we've suffered any injury through the winter months but right now I think we're in good shape," Yates said.

Yates says when it comes to weather the only thing you can do is be optimistic and hope for the best.

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