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