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AP: Cold Snap Benefits Peaches, Apples

From the global warming cultists at the Associated Press:

Peaches, apples may benefit from Deep South freeze

By Janet Mcconnaughey, Associated Press Writer Fri Jan 8

NEW ORLEANS – The cold spell blanketing the Deep South was good news for some fruit growers, though the latest round of extreme weather has created worries for other farmers after the drought and drenching rains of 2009.

"Right now, we’re letting nature take care of itself," said Joe Mitcham Jr., whose 100 acres of peaches are the largest orchard in Louisiana. His peaches need 850 to 1,000 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees, and he expected to be well into 700 hours by next week.

The effects of the latest weather swing may be more ominous for growers of citrus, strawberries and other specialties — depending on how long the cold snap lasts and, particularly for fish farmers, how abruptly it warms back up. Alabama catfish producers, for example, could see greater than normal winter kill. Crawfish farmers also can’t harvest the burrowed-down critters until the waters warm up.

It’s been almost 14 years since the area has had such a long and biting cold snap, said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Ricks. He expected temperatures to trend back toward more normal, above-freezing temperatures next week.

Because most non-citrus fruits require an extended season of chilling to produce a good crop, they’re not big in warmer parts of the Deep South: fewer than 400 acres of peaches in Louisiana, and 1,000 acres of peaches and 250 acres of apples in Mississippi.

Even for peaches, it may be too cold for the best results, said Gary D. Gray, a regional extension agent based in Chilton County, Ala., where about 2,500 acres — 80 percent of the state’s crop — are grown. He said the best chilling occurs between 32 degrees and 50 degrees.

In Georgia, temperatures dipping into the 20s and 30s were helping the state’s 10,000 acres of peaches rack up the chilling hours needed to mature, said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Apples need about the same amount of cold or a bit more, said Mike Reeves, regional agent for northeast Alabama. The state has about 250 acres of apples, a state extension service spokeswoman said.

The unusual cold also could kill off insects that might otherwise wreak havoc on blueberries or already hard-hit row crops later this season


So the only reason cold weather is good for peaches and apples (and blueberries) is that they don’t have to refrigerate them once they are picked.

Something they would be prepared to do otherwise.

But never mind that it hurts them while they are still on the tree.

Economists have estimated revenue losses for major row crops in Louisiana and Mississippi at more than $800 million, and Riley believes a federal emergency aid package will be needed to help some producers stay in business in 2010

You see, whereas ‘global warming’ is obviously horrible – what with its concomitant longer growing season – ‘global cooling’ is great!

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 8th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “AP: Cold Snap Benefits Peaches, Apples”

  1. wirenut says:

    I guess I better get my tiller out of winter storage and start the garden now. Anybody got a D-5 Cat with a ripper tooth?
    I need to get through the frost in the ground. Damn, where’s the seed catalog? Never mind, at minus 26 to 12 above I’ll just start a popsicle farm. Mrs. wirenut has been trimming the ice-cube hedges’ out front to look like algore. Sweet!
    Saturdays project is to erect a wind turbine next to our gas meter. The gas meter is spinning so fast it should drive the turbine. Yep, the benefits are just rolling in!

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