Southern Michigan fruit growers assess freeze’s crop impact


GALIEN, Mich. (AP) — Southern Michigan fruit growers are scouting their orchards for damage after temperatures fell low enough during this week’s late April freeze to harm tender buds.

Overnight temperatures dropped below freezing Wednesday and Thursday mornings, making for some sleepless nights for Mike Hildebrand, owner of Hildebrand Fruit Farms in Berrien Springs.

His farm used large fans to mix the air in an attempt to reduce the cold’s damage to budding trees.

Hildebrand says he’s confident his southwest Michigan orchard will have a crop of peaches and apples later this year, but it will take several days to know how the cold impacted the fruit.

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