Effects of The Cold Weather

Now that some time has passed since the recent cold snap where we saw temperatures reach the teens, it’s pretty easy to see some of the damage our crops experienced.  Nothing is too serious on our row crops, however, we had some vegetable crops that were ruined.

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Cold damage on rapeseed leaf.

The photo above shows some burn on the leaves of rapeseed.  Some fields got this a little worse than others, but it should come out of it ok.  We have in the past seen some flares in Sclerotinia white mold following a hard freeze, so that is something to keep an eye on.

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Reddening of the lower leaves most likely from the soil being wet and inhibiting root growth.

There are also some areas in a few fields that are showing a lot of red leaves.  Usually this is associated with a phosphorus problem.  Most of this that we’re seeing is in low lying areas that have stayed a little wetter than the rest of the field.  In order to adequately take up phosphorus, the roots have to have enough oxygen in the soil pore spaces to grow properly.

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Cold damaged broccoli.

The photo above shows a broccoli heat that was badly burned by the cold.  A row of cauliflower right next to this row was in the same shape.  There were a number of brassica crops that were ruined by the cold.  Some growers were able to get out and pick some in anticipation of the cold, but anything that was still in the field is trash now.  In the photo below you can see just about every head has some damage.

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There is a lot of cabbage that was ruined too.  A few of the outer leaves on the heads were burned making them unmarketable, although there is really nothing wrong with the heads once those outer leaves are pulled off.  The produce market is a tough one to operate on.  Hopefully mother nature will start cutting us some slack here soon.

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