Agriculture Expert Is Concerned About Cold Temps

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Some local farmers say the cold weather could wipe out their fruit crop and they are doing all they can to save the plants.

It was snowy, windy, and cold in eastern Kentucky on Tuesday.

It is expected to get even colder Tuesday night and that has agriculture experts worried that temperatures in the 20s could kill the majority of their fruit crop.

Russell Sparks says his crops may die before they bear fruit.

He says last week's warm weather caused apples, peaches, pears, plums, and strawberries to start blooming. Now freezing temperatures may kill them.

Last year an April freeze wiped out more than 20 of his apple trees.

He hopes the same does not happen to his plants this year.

He laid straw on strawberries, but says he cannot cover his apple, pear, and peach trees enough to protect them.

“That's our big concern. What the wind chill will be. We're hoping for the wind to die down and the temperature to be above 28, and we'll be really happy with that,” Sparks said.

Each degree matters.

He says 28 degrees will only kill ten percent of the fruit, but 25 degrees or below, will kill almost all.

“Just three to four degrees, one way or the other can make so much difference in whether you have fruit or not,” Sparks said.

He is hoping those few degrees will save his fruit.

Agriculture experts say if you have not covered your plants, it is not too late to try and save them.

They recommend covering them before midnight.

Agriculture agents say do not use plastic to cover fruit plants, instead use cloth or hay.

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