Alto Pass, IL farmer worried unstable temps could affect spring harvest

Weather causes worry for farmer trying to save his harvest
Updated: Mar. 14, 2017 at 4:50 PM CDT
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ALTO PASS, IL (KFVS) - The switch from warmer to colder temps isn't only confusing you, but it's could cause a costly damage to some farmers.

It has Wayne Sirles with Rendleman Orchard trying to save his harvest.

However, there's not a lot Sirles said he can do.

"Spring has sprung upon us much earlier than expected," he said.

Sirles said the unpredictable weather has made this an unusual growing season for his peaches.

"This time of year, we shouldn't have any blooms open," he said. "Usually we have a peach bloom around the third week of march, towards the end of march."

But this year that's not the case.

Sirles said with temps as high as 60 degrees in February, it sped up the blooming process.

But now with temperatures back in the 30s with inches of snow, Sirles can't believe what he's seeing.

"The last twenty to twenty-five years of farming peaches, even when I was here as a young kid, I've never seen snow in a peach bloom," Sirles said.

On Monday, Sirles sprayed his peach trees with a sugar-fertilizer mix.

The farmer said it's his only chance to save his early harvest.

"We're hoping for the best outcome because we have a lot of people that rely on these peaches," he said. "Not just us, but there's a lot of families in the area."

Sirles also said peaches bloom over the span of April through August, so he believes this will only affect his early harvest.

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