ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Fruit plants budding and blooming weeks earlier than usual were damaged by frigid temperatures this week, but farmers in the Great Lakes and Northeast say they're still assessing the toll and some crop loss won't be apparent until mid-summer.
Some say strong winds that aren't generally seen on frosty, still winter nights likely prevented catastrophic damage by mixing warmer air with the chill that settled closer to the ground.
The cold set in Tuesday night after trees, vines and bushes woke up early during a stretch of record-breaking March warmth - a freak combination that had farmers and experts worried because they'd never seen anything like it.
While some growers remain cautious, others say they're optimistic and have turned to trying to figure out why the damage wasn't worse.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.