Poor climate led to poor crops for strawberry farmers in southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin this summer time.
Ron Dickey has rented land to develop strawberries at Sekapp Orchard in Rochester, Minnesota, for the final seven seasons. He’s been within the berry enterprise for over 50 years, he mentioned.
Dickey posted a Fb standing replace on June 28
: “Greetings from Ron at Sekapp Orchard strawberry farm. The climate hasn’t been cooperating. We’re closing for the season. Hopefully we get a greater crop subsequent yr.”
As soon as he seen the poor crop this yr, Dickey mentioned he started speaking with Brian Smith, professor of horticulture on the College of Wisconsin – River Falls, who makes a speciality of fruit and vegetable manufacturing.
Smith suggested Dickey to take a few of his vegetation, soil samples and tissue samples and ship them to a lab to have them examined.
“I feel that is what I’ll do,” mentioned Dickey on June 29.
Dickey mentioned that strawberry buds type within the fall after which bloom the next spring, producing one giant harvest, sometimes in June. Smith informed Dickey that with drought circumstances final yr and a pair onerous freezes this yr, the crop goes to be poor for strawberries.
“It shocked the vegetation, and so we received stress on them,” mentioned Dickey.
Final yr’s strawberry crop was additionally a wash, Dickey mentioned.
“In over 50 years, I’ve by no means missed years again to again,” he mentioned. “It was simply as unhealthy final yr, so far as the yield goes.”
He mentioned with a median crop of strawberries, pickers ought to be capable to go about 10-feet and fill a six-quart container.
“That was not the case this yr,” he mentioned.
Dickey mentioned he’s out about $40,000 due to the misplaced strawberry crop this season. He mentioned the price of about an acre of strawberry vegetation is round $2,000.
“I am unable to take that hit,” mentioned Dickey, who bought his farm eight years in the past however has but to faucet into the financial savings from that. “But when this retains on, I must.”
Tonya and Dean Sanner, with their 4 kids, function Firefly Berries in northeast Rochester. Their final robust crop for strawberries was in 2020, when the household determined to not open for you-pick season due to the pandemic.
This yr, Firefly Berries referred to as its you-pick season off sooner than they might’ve favored to, on June 28.
“Our 2022 strawberry season was very quick with minimal berries,” mentioned Tonya Sanner.
She mentioned the farm may have harmony grapes obtainable starting in mid to late September.
Jolivette’s Berry Farm in West Salem, Wisconsin, additionally had a troublesome yr for strawberries. Proprietor John Jolivette described the strawberry crop on their farm this season as “poor.”
“We had 95-degree climate, for one factor, and 6 inches of rain,” mentioned Jolivette on June 29. “And a bit little bit of hail.”
Jolivette, who mentioned they’ve about eight acres of strawberries on the farm, mentioned that final yr was simply as difficult as this yr was for strawberry development.