NY fruit farmers count damages after hail storms
Westchester and Hudson Valley fruit growers are reeling from hail storms that hit New York State Monday, causing thousands of dollars in lost crops.
Bob Stuart's family has worked the land in Somers since the 1820s, with his apple orchard being the backbone of his farming operation.
In the past few years, he planted more than 1,000 new peach and apple trees in hopes of a good harvest.
But he says the young trees have no protection from the hail.
Stuart is not alone. Farmers from Niagara Falls to the Hudson Valley have reported as much as 75 percent of their crops were damaged by the recent hail storms.
"A lot of the apples, especially on the young trees were cut and dented, which means they are no longer marketable,? Stuart says.
Stuart says that although much of the damage to the apples is cosmetic, people who seek marks on the fruit usually don?t want to buy them.
Stuart says he will not know exactly how much of his crop he will lose until later this season. Stuart considers July the worst month for hail, which means the threat is far from over.
"You have one more hail,? he says, ?it could wipe you completely out."