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Western NC fruit growers worry about mild weather

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EDNEYVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Fruit growers in western North Carolina are concerned about the recent unseasonable temperatures and how it will impact their crops.

The Times-News of Hendersonville reports (http://bit.ly/W43M6Y ) that Henderson County Cooperative Extension director Marvin Owings said apple and peach trees need temperatures of 45 degrees or lower to stay in a healthy dormant cycle. The cycle typically starts in November and lasts through February and into March.

Temperatures on Monday were in the 50s. Sunday's high reached 66 degrees.

Owings said growers need cold weather and there hasn't been any such weather this winter. He said too little time in dormancy would disrupt pollination and fertilization. That would cause a sporadic bloom for the trees. Sporadic bloom could affect the quality of the fruit and reduce the size of the crop.

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Information from: Times-News, http://www.blueridgenow.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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