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Fruit farmers keep wary eye on weather

This month's weather has gone from cold to warm to cold again. While the change in temperatures has been welcome for many of us, how do fruit farmers feel?

ELYSBURG, Pa. — Green's Fruit Farm has been in the Elysburg area since 1945. The 90-acre farm specializes in apples and also has peaches.

"And a half-acre of pears, a couple cherry trees, a couple of plum trees," Bobby and Sara Hricko said.

Bobby and Sara Hricko own the farm and constantly have their eyes on the forecast. Weather is crucial during these next few months, as trees need a certain amount of warm weather as they are starting to develop.

"We need the warmth to develop the trees; we just don't need it too fast. Right now, we seem to be doing pretty well, but there's always a worry that we will have too much heat too fast and then a cold front will sweep back in," Bobby said.

That's exactly what happened last year. The couple says there was a frost in early May that spelled bad news for their crops.

The weather is expected to be colder again towards the end of next week, but the Hrickos say that will actually help things here at the farm.

"It will slow things down. The trees have picked up, they've gone into their first stage of leaf development now, but the cooler weather will slow them down, which is good, we can catch up a little bit," Sara said.

"We'll do the best we can with what we've got. It's a lot of looking at the weather, what the predicted weather is, and planning accordingly," Bobby said.

The Hrickos realize they are at the mercy of Mother Nature and the weather is something they can't control.

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