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Ohio Deep Freeze Expected to Raise Fruit Prices
COLUMBUS (Andrew Michael/Kate Liebers) -- Ohio farmers said the recent cold snaps could increase the price of fruit this summer.
At Lynd Fruit Farm in Licking County, the low temperatures likely killed off most of the peach crop. Lester Lynd said that peaches can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 degrees below zero, but, Wednesday morning, the thermometer read 15 degrees below zero.
Other fruit crops are also sensitive to the cold. Blackberries, for example, cannot tolerate temperatures lower than zero degrees.
In the last 14 seasons, Lynd fruit farmers have lost their beech crop five times.
If Ohio farmers relied on their peach crop, Lynd said they would be out of business. Lynd's main crop is apple trees.
He also predicted that because of the crop shortage, peach prices were likely to increase this summer.
Peach farmers can test the fertility of their trees by cutting off a small branch and place it in a vase of water indoors. If it begins to bloom in about two weeks, the tree will likely bear fruit.