Most of Canada had a delightfully warm winter and enjoyed an early spring. Now the bill has come due.
In Ontario, farms face the loss of millions of dollars worth of crops.
The early warm weather in March, followed by sudden flash freezes, has caused devastating losses to tender fruit and apple growers in a large part of southern Ontario.
Steve Smith says there are no blossoms on his apple trees in Port Elgin, about 40 kilometres southwest of Owen Sound, which means there will be no apples.
Agriculture specialist John Cline at the University of Guelph says the apple industry alone in Ontario is worth up to $400 million.
Roughly 2,800 people are employed in the province’s apple orchards, including 2,300 foreign workers hired during the growing season.
Phil Tregunno of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers Marketing Board in Niagara says about 30 per cent of peaches and nectarines have been affected, with damage totalling about $24 million to those two crops alone.
Growers won’t know the impact on the grape crop until early June.
In Britain there's news of another climate change impact, the migration of southern fish species into local waters. Bluefin tuna, Thresher sharks, stingrays and anchovies are migrating northward. We're seeing a similar migration here in coastal British Columbia.