Berry crops struggle to blossom

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(ABC 6 News) – With temperatures taking a while to warm up this year and extreme heat in the forecast as of late, some people who grow berries are barely hanging on.

That is to say nothing of the severe storms of the past few months which have seen hail stones recorded between 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Luckily, a miracle has taken place at Miracle Strawberry Farm.

"We were missionaries for 11 years, and we’re people of faith. We trust in the Lord to take care of us," said Miracle Strawberry Farm Owner Barry Mosier said.

Their religious background inspired the name. The farm had a 3-4 day delay due to frost occurring as late as May 23rd. the frost causes a slower ripening process while extreme heat causes the process to speed up too quickly or even have all berries ripen at once. However, the biggest thing that can change a berry-growing season is hail.

Barry Mosier explains just how catastrophic hail can be to a berry farm. "Coming through a ripe, strawberry field, a heavy hailstorm is pretty much the end of the season."

When a hailstone hits a green, non-ripe strawberry, it adds a bruise. This is not always the end-all, be-all. If a hailstone hits a ripe strawberry, however, it puts a wound in it that would make it impossible to sell. In some cases, it could even destroy the strawberry (or any berry) altogether. One berry farm closer to Rochester noted that it is going to take a few more weeks to have berries ready due to the cold start to spring.

Also, due to a mix of hail, colder weather, and extreme heat, a couple of berry farms have noted fewer berries for the 2022 growing season.