Some N.S. fruit crops not growing after February polar vortex

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A Nova Scotia fruit farmer says some of his crops aren’t growing after a February cold snap.

“We ended up with -24C to -26C temperatures for a couple days and that just killed all the blossoms in the peaches and nectarines,” says Andrew Bishop of Noggins Farms in Wolfville, N.S.

The temperatures were the result of a polar vortex, which pushed icy Arctic air south and lead to rapid and sharp temperature drops.

Bishop says 90 per cent of cherry and 80 per cent of plum trees aren’t blooming either.

While apples are a hardier crop, Bishop says he lost 300-400 trees from one 20-acre plot of land. He has another 250 acres to check but says it could have been worse.

“Apples and pears just have a little more tolerance to cold, another degree or two and we would have seen a significant amount of damage with those as well,” Bishop says.

According to Emily Lutz, executive director of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, some fruits might be harder to find come harvest season.

“Peaches, cherries, plums — there’s a significant damage to the blossom and there is likely going to be no crop this year from the majority of those plants,” said Lutz.