Farmers across Wisconsin have to deal with weather-related problems every year.
An example of that is Apple Holler in Sturtevant: Owner Dave Flannery said he and his workers maintain roughly 20,000 apple, pear and peach trees. The peaches make up just a sliver of his total crop: about 2,500 trees. But this year, Flannery's peach trees produced no fruits. He lost the entire peach crop during the bitterly-cold, polar vortex in January.
Flannery said Wisconsin's bitter winters are not favorable to peaches, even during milder years. But he added that's why the vast majority of his trees, which support the bulk of his business, produce apples. While the polar vortex did take out about 10% of this year's apple crop at Apple Holler, Flannery said that number is relatively insignificant.
In some ways, this year's cold winter and lack of a spring helped to protect much of the apple crop, Flannery said. A lack of warm weather during the spring delayed the blooming of the blossoms on his apple trees.
The apple picking began early this month at Apple Holler. Flannery said the orchard boasts 30 varieties of apples, some of which don't mature enough for picking until early November.