Roller coaster weather has negative affects on some Heartland orchards

Updated: Mar. 14, 2017 at 5:45 PM CDT
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ALTO PASS, IL (KFVS) - The roller coaster weather pattern created chaos in some heartland orchards but one farmer took efforts to save his harvest.

There's not a lot Wayne Sirles with Rendleman Orchard in Alto Pass, Illinois said he can do.

He said this weather has everything happening out of order.

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

He 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. Usually we have a peach bloom around the third week of march, towards the end of march," he said.

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 30 degree range with inches of snow, he said he 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, he sprayed his peach trees with a sugar-fertilizer mix. The farmer said it was 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, not just us, but there's a lot of families in the area," Sirles said.

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

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