It’s Prime Time for Camarosa in Columbus County, NC…But, Some Concern About 40 F Jump in Temp Today! (8:30am, Tue, 4/19/16)
Fig. 1. Georgia Love, Agronomist, Region 5 (see next map), just sent this photo yesterday of Camarosa at peak peaking in Columbus County yesterday! There is a lot of fruit on these bushes, and it may be well for growers in areas with temperatures today that will be in the upper 80s. Black plastic will really elevate afternoon temperatures on the bed shoulders most exposed to afternoon sun! You will want to to pick a little more closely on this side of the bed today so as not to lose any of these wonderful berries to sun scald injury.
Here is the current Maximum Temp Map for North Carolina today:
You may wish to take a closer look at the hourly temperature information for your area of the state today (click on the city/town closest to your farm location):
Across the Southeast, there has been some change in the AWIS forecast map since last night. Immediately below you can view the current map (issued this morning):
Fig. 4. A very large area of both NC and SC will be in the 85-90 F range this afternoon. What a roller coaster spring this has been so far! It was only yesterday that I received this FROST REPORT from a grower near Wilson, NC:
“This weekend was a roller coaster. Thursday and Friday Nights did not turn on but low was 38-39 with patchy frost on roof tops only. Saturday night we turned on about 4 a.m. Ice was forming on the drip lines. Low temp was around 35/36. Sunday night – finally got a good night’s sleep. Hoping the decision to not turn on Thurs and Friday was the right decision. If we had not had all the ripe fruit in the field, I would have probably turned on. Saturday we did not have a choice – with ice forming at ground level it was time to roll.
Looks like this week will be a week of good restful sleep. Very thankful
for a nice forecast!!!”
Editor’s remarks: I can agree up to a point about having a nice forecast for this week. I just got my SkyBit for Clayton and it looks very good, except for the possibility of some very warm temperatures TODAY.
Clayton Today: Please Note We Will Have a 40 F Range Today in Temp. at Clayton
Table 1. Not only will we see a 40 degree range today in air temperature at Clayton, but the actual canopy temp is 3 F above the weather shelter temp of 88 F. In my experience, heat spikes like this in the 3rd week of April represent a more serious threat than when they occur in May. I share this concern because our crop has had NO TRANSITION PERIOD! These are much warmer temperatures today, and way above seasonal high for today of 74 F at this location. A second concern relates to strawberry canopy coverage, and if your canopy is not covering most of the black plastic on top of the bed, then fully red berries in direct contact with black plastic could possibly become scalded today – if you have a more open canopy, you will definitely want to cleanly pick this morning all the fully ripe berries in contact with black plastic, as well as ALL of the red ripe berries on shoulders (see photo of Camarosa in Columbus County below).
Fig. 5. The fully red-ripe berries in contact with black plastic on shoulder of this bed could become scalded this afternoon in this heat. At Clayton, the air temperature at the canopy level will likely be 91 F, but, the actual berry pulp temperature is going to be much much higher for berries in direct contact with “hot” black plastic!It is recommended that red ripe fruit on the shoulders as well as ripe berries that are exposed to the direct sun inside the canopy, should be harvested this morning!