Frequent rain and cooler temperatures are keeping many Wisconsin farmers out of their fields this spring. The latest crop progress report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows only 7 percent of the state's corn crop has been planted. That's eight days behind the five-year average.
As trees begin growth in the spring, buds begin to swell and lose the ability to withstand cold temperatures. There is a range of temperatures over which damage occurs with more and more buds and flowers damaged at lower and lower temperatures until all the fruit buds are killed. Often the freeze will only damage some of the flowers, typically beginning with the most developed ones or those lower on the tree.
Temperatures in Denmark dropped dramatically over the weekend. Danish fruit growers fear this will have a negative impact on the harvest later in the year. Bendt Olsen farms in Odder, Denmark. He cultivates apples, pears, berries, and flowers. His plants, bushes, and fruit trees are not resistant to sub-zero temperatures.
Freezing temperatures in Poland have resulted in damaged crops. Although the extent of the damage is still unknown, it is certain the Polish farmers will lose some of the produce. The frost has effected apples and all kinds of soft fruit. It will take a couple of months to fully understand the consequences of the unfortunate weather conditions.
Due to the high temperatures, apple blossoms developed early this year, according to Jan Flemming Jensen of Kiviks Musteri. If there’s now a period of night frost, it could result in major losses and a bad harvest. The buds can handle up to five degrees of frost, but as soon as it develops into blossom, temperatures have to remain above zero.
Frigid temperatures in January that had wineries fearing a repeat of the 2014 bud-killing disaster didn’t do as much damage as expected. “It’s not going to be as bad as people thought earlier,” Melissa Muscedere, president of the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) group of a dozen wineries, said this week.
Julie and Craig Wood farm blueberries and are no strangers to what below freezing temperatures can do to their fruits. “The cold weather during the winter is not a problem, they go to sleep they need what is called chilling hours after they get their chilling hours and they start to wake up and they start to bloom.
Every year, the highs and lows of Texas winter make their presence felt on farms all across East Texas. This year, peach farmers in Shelby County said they’re among the latest to fall victim to the cold snap’s brutal effects. With some crops, growers know instantly after a frost if it’s a ‘killing frost’. Peach trees are different.
During a cold snap, we add extra layers of clothing to combat the cold but for farmers, the frigid temperatures mean potentially million dollars in crop losses. Such is the case at Winner’s Circle Blueberries in Sampson County. Owner Bill Augustine hasn’t slept in several nights because he and his crew are working in the dark, pumping water onto his 800 acres of prized blueberry bushes.
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