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Michigan fruit crops struggle with roller coaster weather

NILES, Mich. -

Michiana's weather continues on its roller coaster.  Snow hits the area in just a couple of days, followed by sun and warmth. 

ABC57 first reported a little less than a month ago, that Michigan farmers were thrilled with the cold snap, saying it would save the crops that were beginning to bloom a little too early.

Now, it's a different story.

"It did get fairly cold. So, that took a portion of this year's fruit crop," says Steve Lecklider, the manager of Lehman's Orchard. 

Lehman's, and other farms in the state, are looking at some damage from the roller coaster weather. 

"Some of the stone fruit, which include the peaches, the sweet cherries, plums, and tart cherries, were thinned by some of the weather we recently had," explains Lecklider. "Especially some of the colder nights."

But he's not panicking just yet.  Lecklider says the orchard only needs 10% of the total peach bloom to survive, in order to have what's considered a full peach crop.

It's a waiting game.

"Kinda wait and see what kind of crop you'll eventually get," he adds.

Even though snow is expected to hit Michiana later this week, Lecklider is just happy it won't stay frigid.

One thing he's looking forward to, with spring just around the corner?

Some consistency.

"I'm always a fan of more moderate weather as we approach springtime," says Lecklider. "Hopefully we'll see not too many cold nights. And then the bloom will start."

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