Weather not ‘Berry’ Good for Farmers

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP -- It's almost time to head out to the farm and grab a summertime staple. Strawberry season is right around the corner.

We are about two weeks away from strawberry-picking season in Pennsylvania, but with all the rain and mostly cool weather in Lycoming County this year, how will that affect the berries?

"We like hot days. We hope to get hot days. The sunshine is really what makes that extra flavor in them," said Robin Schreiber, owner of Green Barn Berry Farm near Muncy.

Schreiber has six acres of strawberries and says the fruit likes moisture, just not too much of it. So what about chilly, wet days like our recent weather?

"It's almost like throwing them in a refrigerator," said Schreiber.  "They almost stop for a little bit. It's OK that way as long as it doesn't stay like that for a long period of time."

All berry seasons ranging from strawberries to blueberries depend on honeybees. No bees, no berries.

"Bees are agricultural. Just like anything else in agriculture, if you don't have the right mixture or warm weather, rain, sunshine, just with the bees, they're not going to be as productive as they normally could be, which in turn, could hurt the growers," said Jim Wilson, manager of  Brushy Mountain Bee Farm near Lewisburg.

He agrees this is not the ideal weather for bees to pollinate, but that's nature.

"The rain will keep them inside the hive. They've got to eat what they have. So they're really not out there doing any good for the plants out there at that time."

Schreiber hopes to open her farm to the public the first week of June. If we don't have more sunshine, that could be pushed back a few days.

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