How Crazy Is This Year? Frost Protect Tuesday Morning in WNC and Then Worry About High Temps (3:45pm, Mon. May 13, 2013)

— Written By

Min Temp for NC Tue Map

Figure 1. Minimum temps for Tuesday morning – produced this morning (May 13). There is risk of frost in areas of the mountains like Asheville early tomorrow morning: asheville 5 am frost tue. Row covers may be needed to protect “fresh blossoms” from frost injury, and these can be applied late this afternoon (Monday) Sprinkling is not recommended frost protection in areas where harvest is now underway. If you look at the next map (Fig 2), you can see that the powder blue area (38-40) is now covering a much smaller area, and is mainly confined to foothills – in yesterday’s forecast there was a large are of northern Central Piedmont that was in powder blue color band – that’s good news!  However, the next development in this week’s foreceast is HEAT. See Figure 3 for how warm it will be in many areas of the state on Wed. May 15.

Min Temp Table NC Tue

Figure 2. Minimum temps for Tuesday morning – this was produced on Sunday, and there are important changes that have occurred in the forecast.

wed max temp map NC

Figure 3. Maximum temperatures for NC on Wed. May 15. Temperatures will be in the upper 80s in Charlotte area starting this Wed, and the warm spell continues right into next weekend! This warm period will coincide with heavy picking across central NC areas.

A grower from Easley, SC, sent this message to me at 3 pm today:

Hey Dr. Poling,
How crazy is this year?  We reached a low of 34 last night (morning of 5/12). That is unbelievable. No frost however, which was great given the amount of berries we have out there.  I wasn’t wanting to put water on them.

<Editor’s note: this is such an odd situation, but sprinkling on ripe berries is not recommened once harvest is underway. I would use row covers if there is a real threat of losing fresh blossoms to frost at this historically late juncture in season…the record low for Asheville on May 14 is 34 F set in 1910>

We are also doing something else different that I have never done before. I have a couple of fields that were planted a little earlier than we planned on and we have a large number of very small berries along with some really good and decent sized berries. Anyway, these berries don’t get picked obviously, so I have my crew going through the fields and stripping all of the small (and misshapen) fruit out of the field, even if its still green and its obvious that it will be very small. These fields would have to be cleaned at a later date anyway when the berries go bad. The primary purpose is to try and stay ahead of the SWD, but I wonder if there is a benefit of thinning like this for the unripened fruit and fruit that is flowering and budding? I know there is the benefit of reduced disease pressure, etc…but what about a sizing benefit?

Also, plants are still in a good heavy bloom period with some really large and fantastic looking blooms. Current fruit is of good size, great quality, and good taste.
Thanks,
Eric

In this advisory:

1. AWIS – AWIS NC Frost/Freeze Forecast Produced on Mon May 13 for Tue May 14

2. Min Temps for Multiple Locations in NC

3. Much Warmer Temps on Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat

4. Clayton – a risk of frost tomorrow morning!

5. Grower and Nursery updates received over the weekend

  • 5a. Botrytis losses on organic farm this season
  • 5b. Easley SC grower report
  • 5c. Nova Scotia update from Joe Cooper

—————————-

1. AWIS NC Frost/Freeze Forecast Produced on Mon May 13 for Tue May 14AWIS NC Frost/Freeze Forecast Produced on Mon May 13 for Tue May 14 – RED indicates FROST RISK

AWIS Weather Services, Inc.
North Carolina Frost/Freeze Forecast
Produced at 506 AM CDT on Mon May 13 2013

… Forecast for Tonight …

Northeast NC Coast
Currituck/Camden/Pasquotank/Tyrrell Counties

*** No Frost And/Or Freeze Danger Tonight ***

Lowest Temperatures:     42 – 48
Elizabeth_City Min         42

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

05/15/13 05/16/13 05/17/13 05/18/13 05/19/13 05/20/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
50 – 56  61 – 67  61 – 66  60 – 65  60 – 66  61 – 67
——–

East Central/SE NC Coast
Carteret/Pamlico Counties

*** No Frost And/Or Freeze Danger Tonight ***

Lowest Temperatures:     43 – 46
Morehead_City Min          46

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

05/15/13 05/16/13 05/17/13 05/18/13 05/19/13 05/20/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
50 – 54  62 – 65  61 – 64  63 – 65  63 – 65  64 – 67
——–

Southeast NC
NWS FORECAST ZONES 87-90,96-101

*** No Frost And/Or Freeze Danger Tonight ***

Lowest Temperatures:     41 – 45
Elizabethtown Min          44

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

05/15/13 05/16/13 05/17/13 05/18/13 05/19/13 05/20/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
50 – 53  61 – 65  59 – 65  61 – 64  62 – 65  63 – 67
——–

North-Central NC
Franklin County Area
** FROST COLDEST LOCATIONS **

Lowest Temperatures:     37 – 44
Louisburg Min              37
Range Dewpoint Temps:    32 – 36
Range Wetbulb Temps:    35 – 46
AVG Wind Direction/Speed: NW 6    Long Periods of Calm
AVG Sky Condition:        Clear

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

05/15/13 05/16/13 05/17/13 05/18/13 05/19/13 05/20/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
48 – 55  58 – 63  55 – 61  55 – 62  59 – 64  59 – 65
——–

North/Central NC
Alamance County Area
** FROST COLDEST LOCATIONS **

Lowest Temperatures:     39 – 43
Graham_AG Min              41
Range Dewpoint Temps:    28 – 36
Range Wetbulb Temps:    37 – 46
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  N 5    Long Periods of Calm
AVG Sky Condition:        Clear

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

05/15/13 05/16/13 05/17/13 05/18/13 05/19/13 05/20/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
50 – 55  59 – 63  56 – 60  58 – 62  60 – 64  60 – 64
——–

South/Central NC
Richmond County Area

*** No Frost And/Or Freeze Danger Tonight ***

Lowest Temperatures:     42 – 44
Ellerbe Min                44

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

05/15/13 05/16/13 05/17/13 05/18/13 05/19/13 05/20/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
50 – 55  60 – 63  58 – 62  59 – 63  62 – 64  61 – 65
——–

For more detailed information visit www.awis.com or call 888-798-9955.
Copyright 2013 AWIS Weather Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

2. Min Temps for Multiple Locations in NC – Min temp for tue table

“Additional weather details, including custom weather forecasts, are available from AWIS at www.awis.com.”

3. Much Warmer Temps on Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat

Thur max temp

Figure 4. Maximum Temperatures for Thursday May 16 – see maximum temps in your area on this table: Min temp for tue table (this is labeled minimum, but it also has a 7 day maximum temperature forecast).

Fri max temp

Figure 5. Maximum Temperatures for Friday May 17

Sat max temp

Figure 6. Maximum Temperatures for Saturday May 18

4. Clayton – a risk of frost tomorrow morning!

E-WEATHER FROST/FREEZE ALERT

Issued: 05-13-2013 at 13:58

Site Name: NCCLY
Geophysical Location – Lat(D): 35.6506 Lon(D): 78.4567 Elev(ft):  439

GENERAL SUMMARY
Weather conditions are favorable for a FROST in your area.
Please see details below.

DESCRIPTION OF EVENT

Date of Event:    05-14-2013
Type of Event:    FROST
Severity of Event: LIGHT
Extent of Event:  ISOLATED

Historical risk* of 32F or lower temperatures(pct):  0
Likelihood event will occur(pct):                   10
Expected duration of event in hours:                 1
Expected low temperature in degrees F:              39
Expected average dew point in degrees F:            25
Expected minimum wind speed in mph:                  0
Expected maximum wind speed in mph:                  0

*Cumulative Risk of 32F or lower temperatures, based on climatology,
from event date through June 30.
Temperature predictions are representive for a standard 5-foot shelter height.
Advective freeze means a significant wind is likely with subfreezing temperature.
Temperatures at ground level may be lower than those at shelter height on clear calm nights.

Copyright(C) 2013 SkyBit, Inc. All Rights reserved.

5. Grower and Agent Updates (received over the weekend)

I was away this past Mother’s Day weekend (in DC), and did not have and opportunity until this late afternoon today (May 13) to post these grower reports that I have received since late last week and this weekend.

5a. Botrytis losses have been serious this season for many growers, especially if you are an organic producer (photos sent to me by a NC organic producer over the weekend).

vollmer

Fig. 7. These photos show what happens to an organic strawberry farmer when a botrytis epidemic visits your fields and further complicated by continuous wetness for 5 days . This problem is getting straightened out now as weather is improving this week!

botrytis losses from early May

Fig. 8. Another shot of losses associated with botrytis epidemic that struck this organic grower.

5b. Easley, SC, grower report (May 9) – ONE MONTH LATER OPENING THIS YEAR!!

“What a fascinating, albeit frustrating, season this has turned out to be. Fascinating at what has transpired this year and frustrating that the season has been so delayed. If you weren’t aware of what the calendar says, you would think this was a normal opening week for us given the weather conditions and crop stage. I have attached some pictures.

We officially opened on Monday, May 6th. One month later than last year and 2+ weeks later than our average start date. We have a very good crop coming in, and today (Thursday) is our first day of really good picking and a taste turn-a-round.

Some interesting observations from just this past 5 days: (written on May 9 – Thur)
A. 3.85 inches of rain on Saturday Night and Sunday AM.
B. 38 degrees in one field and 36 degrees in another on Monday morning.
C. Morning lows every other day has been 40-42.
D. The first berries were perhaps the ugliest in our 16 years. Many mis-shapen and grotesque. Chandlers, obviously.
E. Taste has been rather poor (tart and tangy) but that is quickly changing.
F. Today and tomorrow will be in the low to mid 80s.
G. Plants continue to bloom heavily and we still have ample buds coming out of the crown.

Their is a (silver) lining to the cloud. The weekend rains (May 4-5) did not affect us at all because we had no ripe berries in the field. So our loss was null. The crowds are beginning to appear and everyone is excited to have the berries. Our prayers now turn to keeping the weather cool through May and early June and the rains at bay.
Thanks,
Eric

Hunter May 9 Chandler

Fig. 9. Chandler plants on May 9th in Easley, SC

hunter 2

Fig. 10. Chandler plants are still blooming heavily in Easley, SC (May 7, 2013)

5c. Nova Scotia Update from Joe Cooper

Notes from the North

Viral Control and Prevention Update – May 13th, 2013

1.    To date, all berry fields within a 10 mile radius have been destroyed by burning, plowing under, pulling out and using herbicides.

2.    Our own plasticulture fields have been sprayed with insecticides and herbicides 3 times ($18,000.00 worth of chemicals to be exact).

3.    Three of our employees have been trained by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture to identify aphids and their eggs, and to monitor traps. Since their day-long training session, they, and a trained crop scout, spent a day walking our fields and reported finding no aphid eggs and four aphid nymphs on 82 acres.

The encouraging part of the story is that Balamore did a very good job of killing the aphids last year from mid-July to November and that our infection was likely contracted in May and June of last year.

Our success in killing aphids without specifically targeting them means a very high probability of controlling the local population in May and June and in the remainder of the summer in 2013.

4.    We have yet to plant our strawberry plants for 2013 but plan on starting today (May 13th). This should give the proper break period for viral elimination.

Immediately after planting we plan on spraying the new plants with an insecticide every two days, until the plants are rooted and showing good leaves allowing uptake of systemic products that last 7-14 days. We will continue to rotate different systemic insecticides throughout the growing season.

5.    We are setting up aphid traps in all our berry fields, new ones and old dead ones, and monitoring these three times a week.

6.    After full leaf emergence we are going to submit samples for testing every 2-4 weeks to ensure both to ourselves and to our customers that our plants are viral-free.

Results will be available on our website:        www.balamore.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo by Joe Cooper, May 13, 2013, Great Village, Nova Scotia – Planting will begin soon. To date, all berry fields within a 10 mile radius have been destroyed by burning, plowing under, pulling out and using herbicides – this should give a proper break period for viral elimination.

I appreciate all these grower and nursery reports very much!

Barclay

p.s. Here is my frost alert for Clayton tomorrow morning!

Dr. E. Barclay Poling
Professor Emeritus/Extension Strawberry Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science
Campus Box 7609, 162A Kilgore Hall
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
919-418-9687 (Cell)
919-515-2505 (Fax)
barclay_poling@ncsu.edu
https://strawberries.ces.ncsu.edu

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Written By

Photo of Dr. Barclay PolingDr. Barclay PolingFormer Professor and Extension Specialist, Strawberries and Muscadines (919) 515-5373 (Office) barclay_poling@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Updated on May 13, 2013
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