Year 3, Month 6, Day 2: Howdja Like Them Apples?

The Ionia County Sentinel-Standard tells us about their local fruit growers, who’ve been having a rough time. Naturally, the article never uses a certain phrase that rhymes with “primate strange.” Read it and weep:


Michigan’s unseasonably warm winter and late April freeze means a near-total loss to many Ionia County growers of apples, peaches and other tree fruits.

“It’s been a severe year as far as all Michigan cherries, apples, plums, peaches,” said Alex Hanulcik of Hanulcik Farm Market and Hanulcik Pick-Your-Own Peach and Apple Orchards in Ionia. “It’s all pretty much gone across the state.”

More than half of Michigan’s apple crop, and possibly more, could be lost, according to The Packer, a news source for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.

In southwest Michigan, damage to tree fruit was even more grim, although the extent won’t be known until early June.

Hanulcik estimated his loss at “approaching 100 percent.” Luckily the strawberries were only minimally damaged, but that is small comfort.

“When two-thirds of what you grow is gone, I’m dependent upon what little is left,” he said.

“I’ve been through a number of years, and I haven’t seen anything like it,” said Hanulcik, who has been farming since 1985. His grandparents started the business in 1936.

“People have told me this is similar to 1945, when it was a complete wipeout,” he added.

Nothin’ to see here, folks. Move along. Sent May 23:

It’s not just Michigan. New England’s fruit growers also confronted the possibility of crop devastation from severe and unpredictable weather. And it’s not just the United States, either. All over the world, farmers are confronting a dangerous new reality in which weather patterns that have been consistent for centuries are transforming faster than human agriculture and infrastructure can cope.

But in the USA, an anti-science political party has framed the phrase “climate change” in exclusively ideological terms, thereby impossibly hamstringing any public discussion of critical issues like the plight of Michigan’s orchards.

Scientists have predicted for years with ever-increasing accuracy that mounting atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will lead to unpredictable and extreme weather, and Ionia County fruit growers are confronting this new reality for themselves. No one on Earth can evade the effects of climate change, and American news media should no longer evade direct discussion of the issue.

Warren Senders

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