CT farmers concerned about cold - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT farmers concerned about cold

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Lyman Orchards in Middlefield are worried about the cold and their crops. (WFSB) Lyman Orchards in Middlefield are worried about the cold and their crops. (WFSB)
MIDDLEFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

After some warmer weather, this cold snap has a lot of Connecticut farmers worried about how their fruits will hold up in the brutal conditions.

Eyewitness News talked with the owners of Lyman Orchards in Middlefield about the cold and crops.

"We're not set up to do much of anything other than pray,” John Lyman, who is the owner of Lyman Orchards, said.

After some of Lyman’s crops survived Monday night's cold temperatures, another freezing night was ahead of them and that had many farmers concerned.

"If it's going to get in the teens tonight, that's cause for concern,” Lyman said.

The snow was OK, so were the low 20's. But, Lyman said anything lower than that could cause major damage to many of his crops from apples to pears and strawberries.  

The recent warmer weather putting the crops two and a half weeks ahead of schedule, which is not a good thing.

"The flower buds are the ones leafing out right now, so if they get damaged by the cold, it means they won't be a viable flower, which means they won't be a fruit,” Lyman said.

Lyman typically yields 5 million apples a year, but it could see a 10 percent reduction if the damage occurs. February's cold snap already caused a lot of damage to peach trees.

"We're still assessing that, but it looks like it was a pretty severe effect on the trees,” Lyman said.

Tuesday night will be another big test and only time will tell what Mother Nature has in store for the 1,100 acres at Lyman Orchards.

"Sometimes it doesn't work out and other times it does,” Lyman said. “But, you've got to be an optimist, if you're a farmer."

Even if there's damage, Lyman assured Eyewitness News that there will be plenty of apples this coming season.   

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