Growers Try Dodging Frost Damage as Temperatures Drop

Even with some frost fighting fans, chilly temperatures still took a toll on northern Michigan's cherry crop. This is exactly what growers have been worried about — and 9&10 News has told you about. The early, warm spring has made the cherry crop extra vulnerable to frost damage, and now it looks like they got some. Growers we talked to in Antrim and Grand Traverse Counties have reported damage from Wednesday night's frost. It's too early to determine the extent of the damage. “When we had numerous days in the 80's in March, my suspicions were we could not survive the crop,” says John King, Owner of King Orchards. King stayed up all night monitoring the temperatures and turning on special fans that draw in the warmer air. He says it got down to 26 degrees. Cold enough for significant damage. He says he'll get a better picture of the damage in a few days. And he's not alone. “Right now we're worried about overnight temperatures every night,” says Brian Altonen, Owner of Altonen Orchards. He says he's more worried about the frost damage accumulating over the next few weeks. 9&10's Ryan Raiche and Photojournalist Jeremy Erickson have the story.