How berry farmers adapt to the changing Central New York weather

Local News

The weather across all seasons is filled with ups and downs. For farmers across central New York, it’s a continuous balancing act.

Back in April, NewsChannel 9 visited Reeves Farms in Baldwinsville, where the lack of spring-like weather put them behind on the berry growing season.  

Brian Reeves said, “Moving out of April, we were quite a bit behind with growth out of the winter with strawberries and blueberries. They were in decent shape but way behind. Probably the farthest behind I’ve ever seen.”

But all it took was one of the warmest May’s on record to boost reeves berries back on schedule.

Reeves said, “The first of May it was like somebody turned a switch on and May was just beautiful. It was above average temperatures, just nice weather and they caught up a lot. By the end of May we were virtually right on schedule.”

Reeves said, “For us it was mixed. The weather going in was beautiful, the demand was good, the prices have been good. It was ideal. But our crop was a little sub-par because of that disease from wet weather last year.”

That spring only put a little damper on the season. Reeves has been making some changes and implenting new techniques to adapt.

Reeves said, “I will say that this field of berries here is probably our best field and it did some good things in spite of the disease this year so we’re listening to what we did with this field and re-do it.”

Summer is officially here and the strawberry season is coming to a close but don’t be blue because another berry is going to ripen right around the corner.

Reeves said, “Right now they’re all small because the plant is still forming but the amount looks good and the plant color and health looks good. So I’m hoping for a good blueberry season.”

Reeves said there is about another week of strawberry picking left. Although there is no set date, you can expect to start picking blueberries in the beginning of July.

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