Early Morning Update; Feedback on Frost; And, Wishes for a “Crazy Good Year” (7am-Noon, Wed, 3/30/16)
Fig. 1. At 5 a.m., 3/30, these were the temperature recordings across our region. At Clayton at 7 a.m. the minimum air temp was 41.5 F. The SkyBit forecast (last night) for the morning low was 40 F (canopy 37). SkyBit was off by about one degree. No frost!
It should prove interesting today to find out what areas may have had a good frost this morning?
Crop ripening at Clayton is now on faster track than a week ago!
The last time I updated my Growing Degree Day accumulations for Clayton Central Crops was one week ago (3/23) and from 1/1/16 – 3/22/16 this location had 264 GDD units. Also, I made a projection last week that the first “real harvest” of Camarosa would be around April 24-25 (assuming that real picking would begin at about 500 GDD units), or a little more than 3 weeks from now. However, when I keyed in all the new forecast numbers this morning for this location, I saw that we will pass the 500 GDD mark on April 15-16.
Fig. 4. Daily GDD units at Clayton – these daily accumulations are based on AccuWeather Pro’s forecast of daily highs and lows over the next month. The larger daily accumulations at the end of this month were not anticipated a week ago.
Sweet Charlie season is underway!
Over the Easter weekend I received a report from a grower in the Sandhills that they were now underway with Sweet Charlie picking. Last evening (3/29) I also received this photo from a strawberry farm in Monroe, NC (near Charlotte) of Sweet Charlie (Fig. 5).
9611 Morgan Mill Rd.
Monroe, NC 28110
RAINS coming later this week
We are going to be enjoying another excellent day of weather today across the region, but the forecast is changing to RAIN by Friday. Clayton will have about 3/4″ on Friday and another 1/4″ Sat.
9:25 a.m. – call from Pungo,VA (Tom Baker). Tom manages a location over in Chesapeake, and has informed me just now they had a pretty good frost at that location this early morning, and over at Pungo site it was incredibly borderline, but no frost at home farm. But, even at home farm where they did not pull covers last night, he could feel the frost in the rolled up row covers in Pungo (there was dew on car roof that froze, and then had frost on top of that in Pungo – formed very suddenly at 7 a.m.). Over at Chesapeake, they made a decision to pull covers last night at 6 p.m. even though AWIS was saying Chesapeake would have a low of 38 F (see below – it was 36 F air temp this morning). Grower was very pleased they thought to pull at Chesapeake, which is the colder of the 2 locations they farm. It was also interesting to note that the lay flat line in the Pungo field had dew, but no frost. No frost on strawberry plants. He could see patchy frost around the field. Looks like Tom guessed right on which farm to pull covers!
Delaware: (9:39 a.m., Wed)
Overall plants are looking nice. 12-20 blooms on the chandlers. Day neutrals are pretty and hoping to see the first Sweet Charlie’s before April 15.
Here’s hoping everyone has a crazy good year!