Central and mountainous regions of Mexico are experiencing freezing temperatures this week as a deep southward dip in the jet stream makes its way well south of the border, drawing colder air from the north. The states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, San Luis Potosi, and Guanajuato are seeing the coldest temperatures, with freezing conditions likely over the next few days, particularly in elevated areas.
The state made emergency farm loans available starting in late July to those who sustained damage due to cold weather last winter. Farmers in Tehama County had a rough winter earlier this year when a freeze caused severe crop damage to almonds trees. According to a letter from Individual Assistance Program Manager Karma Hackney to County Supervisor Candy Carlson, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will designate emergency farm loans.
Freezes and frosts have damaged more than half of the Christmas tree crop in some parts of Nova Scotia this spring. The council has been talking with the provincial Agriculture Department and the Federation of Agriculture on possible emergency funding to help growers. Bonnyman didn’t have a damage estimate but noted that Nova Scotia growers export at least $15 million in trees each year.
The Tehama County Department of Agriculture is seeking a disaster declaration for almond orchards from the state of California, following a spring freeze. This declaration pertains to damage suffered following four days with lows around 26°F and 28°F. Agricultural Commissioner Rick Gurrola estimates the damage at $19,536,084, with farms in the county experiencing from 30% to 49% crop loss.
With cold temperatures lingering longer than many farmers prefer, you might wonder just how late a freeze could hit. Historically, the Corn Belt has seen some, but not many, freezes after June 1. Most late freezes occur in the May time frame. The closer soybeans are to maturity, the less likely they are to suffer yield loss from frost or freeze. In very late frost situations narrow row spacing might trap heat and allow the plants to survive the cold better than wider rows.
Freezing temperatures moved into Northwest Arkansas earlier last week, posing a threat to many fruit crops now in their vulnerable flowering stages in the area, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture horticulture experts said. The National Weather Service reported the air temperature in Fayetteville at 36 degrees just before midnight, and dropping to a low of 27 just before 7 a.m. last Wednesday.
Freezing temperatures are headed our way this weekend and that could be a nightmare for vineyard owners, since the grapes have just started blooming for this year's harvest. Farmers all over the South Plains are getting prepared for the cold weather ahead. Making sure the blooming grapes pull through the freezing cold temperatures is top priority because this part of the season is the most critical for local vineyards.
Cherry buds from Quincy south to the Tri-Cities received a light thinning while apricots took a harder hit from a mid-February freeze that followed a streak of warm weather. That’s a preliminary assessment from B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers and the Washington State Fruit Commission, both in Yakima.
On 1 March spring has begun on the meteorological calendar; however, vicious winter cold will continue to be recorded until the weekend. The strong east wind, which in the Netherlands got the nickname "Russian Bear" and is known in the UK as "Beast from the East", has caused temperatures to drop well below the freezing point in many parts of Europe.
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