Hart Asparagus Farmers Brace For Freeze Warning
That freeze warning has Asparagus farmers on edge tonight as they wait to see if part of their crop gets destroyed.
They could lose at least ten percent.
The Michigan Asparagus Research Industry Farm and Todd Greiner farms in Hart say it depends on how low temperatures go.
"Oceana, Mason County here could easily lose a million dollars tonight if it freezes hard. That’s just in asparagus," said John Bakker.
Asparagus farmers in Northern Michigan bracing for a freeze warning that could wipe out one in ten of these spears… setting them back for the month of May.
"If we get a hard frost tonight and that would be 27 or 28 degrees for more than 2 or 3 hours we would probably lose everything right down to the ground so the ground would need to warm up new spears would need to emerge and get up to harvest height and that usually takes 7 or 8 days so if we get hard frost tonight we won’t harvest anything for an entire week," said John Bakker.
The farmers, working with their customers, assuring them they are doing everything they can.
"I have about 25 customers calling right now wondering if they’re going to be ok for asparagus shipments, but I am optimistic we will have product," said Todd Greiner.
"We’ve got promotions in place and grocery store chains that are eagerly awaiting the crop and we’ve got advertising that is going to start in a week or two so if we got taken out by frost tonight we likely wouldn’t harvest anything for over a week and that would really mess up our whole marketing plan," said John Bakker.
In the end it comes down to something they can’t control.
"We just hope mother nature treats us good tonight and I think if she treats us good we will be ready to go because we have a lot of good market space there and we are ready to go," said Todd Greiner.
Today’s sunshine actually helped Asparagus farmers.
John Bakker says the soil trapped the heat from the sunlight, which will be released throughout the night and could keep the spears warmer.