WASHINGTON Twp., N.J. (CBS) – A couple more February days of temperatures in the 60’s or 70’s and fruit trees in South Jersey could suffer from producing blossoms too soon.
“If the blossom arrives too soon we have a problem now because we’re still in the winter months and we can get down into the teens,” says David Duffield from Duffield’s Farm in Washington Township.READ MORE: Camden County Issues Code Blue Due To How Cold It Will Get Tuesday Night
Early blossoms make some of New Jersey’s most famous fruits like peaches, strawberries and apples vulnerable to dramatic drops in temperature that can happen even into spring.READ MORE: Trial Resumes In Harrisburg Tuesday That Could Impact How Pennsylvania Funds Public Schools
Fellow Gloucester County farmer John Hurff vividly remembers April 4 last year. “March was really warm and stuff came out early and we had a freeze. We only ended up with about a third of a crop across the board last year,” says Hurff in charge of William Schober Sons, Inc which has orchards and a farm market in Monroeville, N.J.
And there’s another concern. Pests like the brown stink bug could also get an early start with this warm February.Teen Victim Speaks Out For First Time Following Racially Motivated Attack Aboard SEPTA Train
“Some insect pests will be of concern and growers will have to be prepared for it with their spray programs,” says Dr. Hemant Gohil an agricultural agent for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Gloucester County.