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Orchards taking precautions against overnight freezing temperatures

Posted at 10:20 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 23:20:49-04

FENTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — Local orchards are taking extra measures to protect their property from the freezing weather coming our way.

Spicer Orchards dealt with freezing temperatures like this before, but that was back in 2012 and they weren’t prepared. Now, they’re ready and say they won’t let what happened in 2012 happen to their orchards again.

“To add bonfires and helicopters that is an extreme attempt to protect and save our crops,” says Shannon Spicer.

The owners at Spicer Orchards in Fenton say they’re ready to take this freeze head on and protect their 300 acres.

“We brought in our full crew that we usually use in the fall harvest time to help us maintain the fires,” she says.

They’re doing whatever they can to save their crops this year.

“Orchard right wind fans, those will be running tonight. We’ve also hired a helicopter to hover over our orchard to try to keep warm air down on the ground and we’re going to be burning bonfires,” Spicer says.

In 2012 a freeze hit the orchard and the owners weren’t prepared, it turned out to be a disaster.

“If we can save anything, we are going to try to do it, because like in 2012 we didn’t have a single apple on our farm in 2012 and we just cannot have repeat if that season,” she says.

The people at Spicer Orchards say they’re hoping their efforts will be enough to save their crops.

“Keep your fingers crossed and pray that we get some more warmer temperatures tonight and again on Monday might. Hopefully everything we’re trying to do to prevent crop loss will work,” Spicer says.

Shannon tells me they got the idea to use a helicopter from another orchard on the west side of the state, that was able to save some of their crop in 2012.