Different parts of the world face different weather-driven perils, and one way to classify them is by their geographic extent. Localised events, such as hail, vary in frequency and severity from year to year, but a single event affects only a restricted area. Perils which affect very large geographic regions simultaneously are what we call “systemic risks” or “cat events” and can cause large losses, sometimes even spanning multiple countries. Here we examine one such catastrophic peril: winterkill.
A record-breaking cold spell in Western Australia's agricultural heartland has shattered farmers' hopes of enjoying a bumper crop harvest. Temperatures in the southern Wheatbelt dipped between 0 and minus 5 degrees Celsius on both Saturday and Sunday morning, while the Great Southern town of Newdegate recorded its lowest-ever temperature of minus 4.3 degrees.
The effects of the killer June frost are starting to be felt around the region, particularly in the Annapolis Valley. Some farms have lost more than half of their crop, which translates into thousands of dollars. For the first time since 1970, the Boates family won't be offering U-pick at their farm this fall.
If frost does occur, the information below will give you some details to help assess any potential impact to crop yield and quality. The full impact of frost will not be obvious immediately. Several warm days may be required for the extent of leaf and crop damage to be evident. The magnitude of frost injury will be dependent upon how low temperatures went, time of exposure, and the stage of crop development.
Farmers whose crops were wiped out by the late June frost in Nova Scotia may get access to some emergency financial assistance from a government relief program. In response to the cold snap in early June, the federal and provincial agriculture departments announced they would allow more flexibility to join the margin-based AgriStability program, which supports farmers facing large declines in income brought on by lost production.
Groundbreaking nanotechnology designed to protect cherries, apples and other popular fruits from frost damage is showing positive results in tests by Washington State University researchers. The research team recently received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop plant-based nanocrystals that coat and protect fruit buds during cold spells in the spring, when temperatures rise and fall unpredictably.
Two hard frosts in June have wiped out an estimated 70 per cent of Nova Scotia's wild blueberry crop and producers don't know if they'll even bother harvesting what little remains. "The prices that are offered for the fruit will determine whether it is economical to harvest it or not," said Peter Rideout, the executive director of the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia.
Valencian producers were surprised on Sunday afternoon by a heavy hailstorm and strong winds, which have caused severe damage to 11,000 hectares of citrus and kaki plantations in the region of La Ribera del Xúquer, with losses estimated at 47 million Euro. Hail has fallen in the main production area of Rojo Brillante in Spain, significantly affecting L'Alcúdia, Alzira, Algemesí, Tous, and Alberic, among other municipalities.
The Nova Scotia wild blueberry industry has been hit hard by recent adverse weather conditions. Officials expect this year’s harvest will produce less than half of what it typically would. For the last three weeks, farmers from one end of the province to the other have been hit multiple times with frost. Before the cool weather struck, farmers were optimistic about this year’s blueberry harvest.
Lloyd’s coverholder Meteo Protect has reported a dramatic increase in demand for parametric weather insurance among France’s winemakers following unusually cold temperatures and frost across Western Europe during 2017’s critical spring growing period. At the May 31st conclusion to Meteo Protect’s spring frost coverage, now in its second year offering, the firm recorded a 15-fold increase in viticulturists subscribing, and a similar increase in the number of brokers in France adding the coverage to their portfolio.
Given the recent frosts in the central zone, the Citrus Committee of ASOEX spoke about the status of the citrus orchards and the actions that their associates, which represent about 75% of Chile's citrus exporters, need to take. According to the Chilean Meteorological Directorate, during week 22, minimum temperatures below -2.0° C were recorded in the regions of Valparaiso, Metropolitana, and O'Higgins.
Grape and strawberry growers In New Brunswick are still assessing the damage, which has been significant, to their crops after a severe frost in the wee hours of Monday. "You could take your fingernails and scrape the frost off the aluminum irrigation pipes," said David Walker of the Sunset U-pick in Fredericton. He told that it was his irrigation system that allowed him to save most of his 10 acres of strawberry plants after temperatures dropped to –4 C and –5 C in some areas of the province.
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