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Nashville, Ark. – With the extremely cold temperatures experienced the week of February
14 and Howard County reaching a low of -14, many of you may be wondering how or if
this will affect the fruit crop for this year, especially peaches. This week was anything
but a typical mid-February week:
Are you wondering just how hardy your plants are? Most of us are fortunate that many
of our crops were still dormant, because at this stage they tend to be hardier and
can withstand the colder temperatures better. Those of you that might not be so lucky
are the ones with blueberries, blackberries, or peaches. When buds start to show on
these plants, we do not want temperatures to drop below the 20’s. If you have not
gone out and accessed for damage on your peaches, now is a good time to do so. You
will want to be sure and focus on the buds, canes, and stems. If you have any cold
injury, you may see dark spots in the center of buds or darkening of the vascular
tissue in both the canes and stems.
If you notice damage, it does not mean you will have no flowers or fruit. However,
it may result in fewer blooms which will result in fewer fruit. Maybe you did not
see any damage on the outside of the plant. That does not mean there is not damage
present in the vascular tissue. This will be a process; it will take time to fully
know how many buds survived the extremely cold temperatures and then know if the vascular
tissue has received damage.
How will you know if the vascular tissue (the plumbing part of the plant that supplies
the bud with the needed water and nutrients) is working or not? It will take time,
and you will see the buds may break but then die. Remember just because you lost 20%
of your buds does not mean you have lost 20% of your normal crop. Some peaches require
thinning; so, if you received minimal damage, you may not even notice it.
Since we never know what the weather is going to be like, be sure to keep a check
on your plants. We still have flowering to make it through which is the most sensitive
stage of production.
For more information, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Howard County Extension office is still working and is there for all the residences
in Howard County during this time.
By Samantha Horn County Extension Agent - AgricultureThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Samantha Horn County Extension Agent - AgricultureU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service421 N. Main Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.