Crop Damage Impacts Worker Hours
KREX News Room
PALISADE, Colo. Grand Valley farmers continue to gauge how devastating this week's frost was to crops. One farmer believes the commercial apricot crop in Palisade doesn't exist. However the uncertain future of the fruit isn't the only thing at stake.
"Since '95 I've been in Grand Junction, Colorado," said farm worker Mario Moreno Hernandez.
Bruce Talbott, orchard manager at Talbott Farms, said, "We spend years trying to build these crews of really good people and if we have a year we freeze-out then we can't employ them"
The livelihoods of workers like Hernandez depend on these crops.
"Thinking about what we're going to do if that happens, probably moving to another state," said Hernandez.
"A lot of thinning in general that we would of hired our guys to do, that won't be happening," Talbott said.
Another farm worker, Yeshua Terrzas, said, "People need money for send to family, they need to get money for the childs, for the kids."
Because Talbott's grape crops faired well, workers still have a job. He explained that a frost back in 1991 forced many workers to relocate, "What happened to the apricots happened to the peaches in '91, and if this was a week later we would have the same results now."
Peach trees fared the best in this most recent frost, which is crucial due to the fact that they are the valley's most important crop.
Talbott said, "We're still very optimistic as to what we have for this season. So it's a little bump in the road but we're still in the game."
A game he hopes mother nature will get on his side for.
Talbott adds that crop insurance will most likely not help him because losses were not great enough. He says overall the valley took a hit of $5 million.