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Warm winter worries farmers

Steve Tripoli Jan 8, 2007
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Warm winter worries farmers

Steve Tripoli Jan 8, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: There are a lot of places in the northeast part of the country where you’d need a calendar to know what time of year it is. The unseasonably warm winter has been good for heating bills but a little tricky for farmers. No one is panicking — yet. But it’s starting to get to the point where it might be too much of a good thing. From the Marketplace Entrepreneurship Desk Steve Tripoli has more.


STEVE TRIPOLI: Peter Gregg of the New York Farm Bureau says fruit growers are worried their trees might start budding early.

If a hard frost follows, that could do some real damage.

PETER GREGG: We’d certainly need to see some regular January weather and the trees need to go into dormancy.

Right now there’s only a bit of early budding. But with temperatures in the 60s Gregg says farmers have their fingers crossed.

GREGG: They’re nervous, you know but there’s really nothing you can do to fight this off.

It’s not all bad. Maple sugar makers as far north as Quebec are not only tapping trees but boiling their sap already.

GREGG: Which is unheard of, absolutely unprecedented, I never heard of anything like that before, ever.

That usually waits until March

The heat wave’s granting some other breaks: A lot of spring fence mending’s starting early. And it’s a lot easier to prune trees now than when fields are deep with snow.

I’m Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.

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