Multi-State AWIS Update on 12.29.17 for Strawberry Growers (11:30am)
Fig. 2. Minimum temperature map for North Carolina for Tue 01/02/18. Temperatures will be plunging into single digits Mon/Tue night in the Upper Mountains – low to mid teens are in forecast for central NC and Sandhills.
Very cold conditions will be returning on Thur/Fri (1/04-1/05), and at this point it would appear at this point that first part of this winter over our forecast region will be seeing temperatures colder than last year, but the expectation is that temperatures will be above average in the latter part of this winter (see this week’s Outlook posted on Dec. 27th.
One of the real benefits of having an OUTLOOK forecast is that it gives strawberry growers a nice heads up on the next time they may need to cover up, or pull covers off!
Grower testimony (York, SC) regarding why an OUTLOOK forecast could be useful in the fall — this grower produces fall Albion berries
“Since I use row covers now and no water overhead, I’m more interested in 5-10 days out. If we are thinking high 20s for lows we use 1 layer of 1 oz cover. Low 20s and teens we put the 2nd layer on. And, so we look more at overall weather and don’t worry about cutting water on or off. It worked well thru this last March freeze. So from my point of view, the service is good (Outlooks that were posted on this site last spring), I would just cut way back on time investment to give detailed reports for so many locations.”
Maybe your practice now is to use row covers for winter, spring and maybe fall protection?
Are you interested in seeing these OUTLOOKS continue? If so, drop Barclay Poling a note on his personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If I can identify enough support for these Outlooks before January 5th, we can continue to offer this service into the New Year. Right now several pledges have been made (total $400 by 12/28), but unless a significant jump in grower support for the weekly OUTLOOKS occurs between today and January 5th, they will not be offered again this season.
Please let me offer my sincere appreciation to the several growers who stepped up to help! The problem everyone has to weigh is the possibility that the 2018 strawberry season could be as big a roller coaster ride as March 2017? Let’s hope not!
Again, please just shoot me an email with your pledge if you would like to see this continue. The grower pledges I have received so far have been from $100 to $200
If you are interested, this Powerpoint slide shows how much usage there was for this site last March.