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Chilly Weather Delays Fruit Farms

DALLAS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The sign on the door of Dymond's Farm Market near Dallas says 'Hello Spring,' but the bakers inside are still waiting for it to show up.

They are hoping the cold weather won't keep them from getting what they need from the farm to fulfill picnic pie orders this summer.

"We'll use they're fresh strawberries, blueberries that they produce out at the farm so I mean for us we hope it's a good yield this year because we go through a lot of apples," says Katlyn Evans, an owner at Dymond's Bakery.

Up the road at Brace's orchard, the winter weather has delayed essential tasks that are usually done by the end of march, like pruning and planting.

"Because we're so afraid of taking too much off because we don't know what's going to live for this year," explains Paul Brace. Brace's Orchard has been in his family for eight generations.

Paul Brace at Brace's Orchard near Dallas tells Newswatch 16 this time last year, these peach trees had blossoms on them. This year, they are just beginning to leave dormancy and the buds are starting to swell.

Although it was a late winter, farmer's like Brace say it's lucky it has been consistently cold, otherwise he could have lost his crops.

"So it's going to delay the season a couple weeks, cause you know from blossom to harvest. I'm glad they're at the stage that they are because if we have this cold weather and they were advanced then we would lose a fruit," says Brace.

Jim Sickler, who's operating a blueberry farm at the age of 85, agrees. He says if the buds on his blueberries would have popped out earlier this month, the cold would have ruined his bushes for the season.

"When it gets cold, that gives it a shlackin' that's like a bullwhip.," says Sickler. "If it gets real cold you won't get no berries."

Thankfully these farmer's tell Newswatch 16 that probably will not be the case this year. There will only be as delay of a few weeks for certain varieties of peaches and apples to reach the farm markets.