WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – With rapid changes in weather and rising fuel prices, planting season this year may be very strange for farms and vineyards across New York State.
On the positive side, warm and dry weather in the Twin Tiers this week means good news for many farms and vineyards, including Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen. The stretch of warm weather will likely last until this weekend.
“The only weather event we had was back in the winter when we’ve had some cold nights,” said David Stamp, vineyard planter at Lakewood Vineyards. “That damaged some of our more tender varieties, but it happened to the point where most growers hadn’t pruned them yet and were able to adjust for that damage.”
In some cases, winter weather can be good for farms and vineyards. According to Chemung County Farm Bureau President Ashur Terwilliger, late snow storms, like the nor’easter on Tuesday, April 19th, are actually beneficial for crops in the long run because snow on the ground provides nitrogen to the plants when it melts.
Despite the outcomes expected later in the year, weather is only a small factor in affecting today’s farms and vineyards. Planters this year now have to worry about intense economic situations such as rising fuel prices and inflation.
“It’s about a dollar and sixty cents higher than last year for farm diesel,” said Ashur. “Fertilizer is now more expensive as well because natural gas is needed to form some of this fertilizer.”
The warm and dry weather for the next few days may sound nice, but it will not be enough to block out the current problems with skyrocketing prices. Expensive fuel and planting materials are likely going to make this planting season even more of a bumpy road.