Time Running Out to Apply Row Covers (10:30am, Sat., 12/30/17)

— Written By

strawberry field with row covers

Dear Growers, Agents, Agronomists & Others

I received a text 15 min. ago from a strawberry grower who I have known for more than 20 years in Sanford, NC, and his question had to do with whether I thought these colder temperatures in the forecast could cause serious damage to his uncovered strawberry crop. I spent several minutes reviewing the latest minimum temperature forecasts not just for his location in Sandhills of North Carolina, but for our whole region, and what I “picked up on” is that the forecast from just yesterday to today has changed somewhat, and not necessarily for the better. I am working on a very clunky computer, and so it is harder for me to post to this advisory all the associated “maps and tables” that are indicating to me the potential for colder than anticipated temperatures on New Year’s Day (early morning) and again for January 2nd (Tue), but given the shortness of time and potential for even lower minimums on 1/1/18 and 1/2/18, I recommended to my grower friend in the Sandhills that I would  “cover up.”

The reason I would be more inclined to play safe and pull covers, even in a location with a minimum forecast in low teens, is that the forecast could still go lower! And, I don’t know if you are interested in conducting a science experiment, but that is something you may be doing by not covering.

Very quickly, you may wish to check these latest maps from AWIS for NC and VA.

NC Min Temp Maps

North Carolina minimum temperature map

North Carolina minimum temperature map


Ahoskie-Tri-Cou Albemarle_AP Andrews Asheboro
Asheville_Munic Beaufort-Michae Boone_NC Burlington-Burl
Cape_Hatteras_AG Chapel_Hill-Hor Charlotte Cherry_Point
Clinton_NC Concord_NC Currituck_NC Edenton-Northea
Elizabeth_City Elizabethtown_NC Erwin-Harnett_C Fayetteville_AP
Fort_Bragg/Simm Franklin/Macon_C Gastonia-Gaston Goldsboro_AFB
Goldsboro_NC Greensboro Greenville_AP_NC Hickory
Jacksonville Jacksonville_(A Jefferson_AP_NC Kenansville-Dup
Kill_Devil_Hills Kinston_AP Lexington-David Lincolnton_AP
Louisburg_NC Lumberton_AP_NC Mackall_AAF Manteo/Dare_Co
Maxton Mcalf_Bogue_Fiel Monroe_AP_NC Morganton-Morga
Mount_Airy-Moun New_Bern North_Wilkesbor Oxford_NC
Piney_Island_Bom Pope_AFB Raleigh-Durham Reidsville_AP
Roanoke_Rap_AP Roanoke_Rapids_R Rockingham_NC Rocky_Mount-Wils
Roxboro_AP Rutherfordton Salisbury-Rowan Sanford_NC
Shelby_AP_NC Smithfield_AP Southern_Pines Southport_NC
Statesville-Sta Tarboro_AP Wadesboro_AP Washington-Warr
Whiteville_NC Wilmington_AP_NC Winston-Salem

MD, VA and Mid-Atlantic Min Temp Maps

MD, VA and Mid-Atlantic Min Temp Maps


Abingdon Ashland_VA Charlottesville Chesapeake-Ches
Culpeper Danville Dublin/New_Riv Emporia_VA
Farmville Fentress_Naval_A Fort_Belvoir/Da Fort_Eustis/Fel
Franklin/J_B_Ro Hillsville Hot_Springs/Ing Jonesville_AP
Langley_AFB Leesburg/Godfre Louisa-Louisa_C Lynchburg
Manassas_Muni(A Marion/Wythev Martinsville Mecklenburg/Bru
Melfa/Accomack Newport_News Norfolk_Hampton_ Norfolk_NAS
Norfolk_VA Oceana Orange_VA Petersburg_(AWO
Quantico Richlands_AP Richlands_VA Richmond
Richmond_Chester Roanoke Shannon_Arpt Stafford_AP_VA
Staunton-Shenan Suffolk-Suffolk Tappahannock_AP Virginia_Tech_A
Wakefield_AP Wallops_Island Warrenton_Fauqui Washington_Dulle
West_Point_VA Williamsburg_VA Winchester_Rgnl Wise/Lonesome_P