‘Global warming’ strikes again – A ‘Nerve-Racking’ Time for Growers

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Across New York and New England, farmers and growers watched with worry on Saturday morning as a late season blast of Arctic air and even snow descended on fragile fruits and vegetables that had just begun to poke through.

Workers at Westwind Orchard in Accord, N.Y., about 70 miles south of Albany, on Friday night sprayed water, molasses and kelp mineral on budding apple blossoms to help protect them against the cold.

By 5 a.m. on Saturday, growers were on the phone with each other to learn what kind of damage the unseasonable weather had unleashed.

“What we’re experiencing is nerve-racking and very unusual,” said Mike Biltonen, a pomologist who runs Know Your Roots, a small apple orchard and consulting company in Hector, N.Y., in the Finger Lakes region, about 20 miles west of Ithaca.

In New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine, people woke up on Saturday to find snow falling. The temperature in Worcester, Mass., fell to 30 degrees, breaking the previous record of 31 set on May 9, 1934, according to the National Weather Service.

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