Fruit growers all over Indiana are inspecting their orchards for damage after Tuesday’s snow and cold. The National Weather Service in Indianapolis says the temperature dipped to a record low of 27 degrees overnight (at Indianapolis International Airport).
Beasley’s Orchard owner Calvin Beasley – Hendricks County -has been inspecting his 25 acres of apple trees and 4 acres of strawberries. “We had a low measure here on the farm of 26. I think we were at that temperature for probably less than an hour. But currently, the apple trees are in full bloom and your critical temperature at full bloom, that is going to be 28,” Beasley told insideindianabusiness.com.
Beasley says he hopes the three inches of snow that the orchard received provided a protective barrier to the tender blooms and buds. “We’re hoping that it actually covered the buds up enough from the ice to encase them and actually trapped some of the heat in there and prevented from escaping in the atmosphere.”
Fruit growers will often irrigate budding trees in early spring when they expect low temperatures, but he is not sure snow on blooms will have the same effect. He is also trying to protect his four acres of strawberries.
The National Weather Service says the airport received two inches of snow. While rare, it is not a record in terms of late-season snow. According to the NWS, the latest measurable snowfall in Indianapolis was May 9, 1923, when .9” of snow fell.
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