How early spring cold weather could affect crops

Farmers Market

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Chaney Scott

The first day of spring certainly didn’t feel like it this year.

A sudden cold snap across the state has some farmers worried about their crops, especially fruit like peaches and blueberries.

West Alabama agriculture experts said temperatures falling below freezing might damage some plants, but the cold didn’t last long enough to do any serious crop damage.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System County Agent Neil Hargle said he’s more worried about home grounds, gardens and pests.

Many farmers wait until mid-April to plant, but if a cold snap is threatening your plants you can always cover them with plastic or towels.

Hargle said he recommends home gardeners wait until after Easter to put anything in the ground. By then, the cold is pretty much gone.

“People can start plants inside or start their seeds inside in grow houses or green houses,” he said. “Right now should be OK, but the soil is really cold so we try to get people to defer until mid-April.”

If you’re lacking in the green thumb department but want to support local farmers, there’s a simple way you can: buy at the farmers market.

“If you like these crops, then visit our local farmers market,” Hargle said. “You’ve got farmers down there who are not as large scale as our big farmers and they have lots of fruits and vegetables.”

Categories: Local News