Budbreak in Southwest Michigan Reported
On March 20th, the Michigan State University Extension in Benton Harbor reported budbreak in area vineyards. Jeff Lemon, manager at Lemon Creek Winery in Berrien Springs, Michigan, said that he has not seen budbreak at his vineyard, but he thinks it will be today or tomorrow. “The Baco Noir and the Chancellor will be the first to go,” Lemon said. Lemon, who has worked at his family’s winery for 28 years, said that he has never seen vines so mature this early in the season. Lemon believes that the question now is when grape bloom will occur. If bloom were to follow the same pattern as budburst, which of course cannot be predicted, bloom clusters would start appearing in early May which is a month earlier than normal in Southern Michigan. “It’s possible we could be picking grapes in August,” said Lemon with a chuckle that recognizes that farm planning is partially a matter of staying flexible.