Fruit farmers in Northeast brace for frigid temps

By: By MICHAEL MELIA (Associated Press)
By: By MICHAEL MELIA (Associated Press)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Farmers in the Northeast are preparing orchard heaters, irrigation systems and frost alarms to protect their fruit crops from temperatures that are expected to dip overnight to near freezing.

While the cold weather is fairly typical for late April, farmers say fruit crops are more vulnerable this season because they blossomed early as a result of a March warm spell.

Some farmers say the forecast for Friday night poses the biggest threat yet for crop damage. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for parts of several New England states and much of New York and Pennsylvania.

It is a frustrating but now familiar drill for farmers like Don Preli, of Glastonbury, Conn. He says he has had to take measures against frost many times this month.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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