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Apple growers concerned crops may be lost this season

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Apple growers across the region are concerned their crops may be lost due to the wild weather swings. With temperatures climbing and dipping weekly, growers hope the buds hold off until at least April.

Tom and Karen Ferri have had their apple orchard in Clarksburg since 2012. They have about 50,000 apple trees on their 20 acres.

"If the bloom comes out and we get a frost or a freeze, we lose the bloom, we lose the apples, we lose the crop," said Karen.

Karen says some of the buds have already started to swell.

"If that happens, it's not going to be a happy ending," she added. "The buds are swelling - the buds haven't broken yet. This cooler weather today and cooler in the evenings for the next little while is our friend because it keeps them cocooned inside the bud. We don't want them coming out of the bud yet," shared Karen.

This year's weather patterns have been similar to those of 2012, a year when many crops were lost.

"We are holding our breath. Some of the temperatures we've had in the last week parallel what we had in 2012 which was an absolute disastrous year. However, these cooler temperatures today and through the evenings are good for us," said Karen.

"If everything goes right, we want 50 apples per tree," said Tom.

The Ferris grows seven different varieties of apples, and most of their product ends up in the GTA. They are still winter pruning their trees in anticipation of the season.

"We need to be able to feed ourselves locally. We don't need to be dependent on importing food," Karen said.

Apple growers say they would be thrilled to see about another month of cooler temperatures, but that's up to Mother Nature.

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