Fruit farmers are seeing drastic improvements this year - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Fruit farmers are seeing drastic improvements this year


It's a great year to be a fruit farmer.

Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm Manager Bill Teichman says this year's crop is looking great and quite different from last year. "I have never seen a year like last year."

Late frost and drought conditions wiped out 50% of this 500 acre farm in 2012. "Demand was high and supply was half so people were scrambling to get what they could."

At Tree-Mendus Fruit, Teichman says they were happy to have any harvest at all last year, but this season seems to be the opposite. "As you can see on the peach trees we've got a full crop, so there's a lot of peaches to harvest this year, a lot of everything to harvest this year."

And he says it's not just the fruit that looks good, the trees have recovered better than he expected. The branches show three feet of growth. Quite a change from last year's one foot growth. "Everything's doing really well, the weather's been quite in our favor. There's a bountiful crop.There's no complaints."

Well almost. "Farmers love to complain, three weeks ago it was too warm, it brought on apricots too quickly, but that's such a minor complaint. It's better to have full crop and I need to just accept it," says Teichman.

And when it comes to prices, he says last year prices jumped 30% on some fruits. So prices WILL seem lower this year. In reality though, they won't be any lower than average because he says most farmers are still recovering.

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