[NAFEX] Damage

Zeugitai zeugitai at gmail.com
Mon Apr 9 11:57:46 EDT 2007


Everything you said holds true for us in our area of northeastern Arkansas.
It's not just the southeast that was knocked out.  We are called the
mid-South and we were wearing t-shirts on and off through February and all
through March, too.  As I mentioned elsewhere, I knew we were in trouble
when the migratory birds stayed put throughout the so-called winter and
everything bloomed and blossomed at the beginning of March.  I know people
in Nebraska were devastated.  The scale and extent of this economic damage
greater than most people have begun to suspect.  What I hate is watching the
chuckleheads on the weather channel giggle and joke about the cold wave, as
if they didn't even suspect that many people have lost their livelihoods.
Mark
>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Donna &/or Kieran" <holycow at cookeville.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 08:40:19 -0500
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Damage
The problem throughout the eastern US  is that we had the severe record
breaking freeze following weeks of recordbreaking high temps.  We had
lightning bugs going for 2 weeks, think about what time of year that should
be.  The following have lost their crops for this year:
Apples
all stone fruits, including wild cherries
pears
mulberries
oaks (except for black oaks that bloomed last year, but now won't crop next
year)
blueberries
probably dogwoods
persimmons
chestnuts
grapes, tame and wild
most hickories
black walnuts
probably sour gums

The only trees I have seen that may go ahead and crop now are a few of the
pignuts that hadn't budded out.  It looks like neither humans, birds, nor
mammals are going to eat well this summer and fall.  Humans can import food
from other countries, wildlife cannot.  The birds are going to suffer when
they need dogwood and sourgum berries for calories when they migrate in the
fall.  Deer, turkeys, and squirrels (not to mention chipmunks and other
small varmints) need them to get through the winter.  I assume the quota for
the fall deer hunt will be high this winter, as they will need severe
thinning, but they will be very skinny deer by Thanksgiving when the season
opens.
    Now that Easter Sunday is over and the browning is more visible, we'll
start hearing actual assessments of the damage in percentages of crops lost
and in dollars.  Already there is talk of the wheat crop being damaged, and
Lucky says that corn was 6" high in his area.  (He's further north, but
lower in elevation than we are)  I had covered my strawberries, they should
be fine, and the blackberries and black raspberries are fine.  We had some
peices of plastic from a commercial greenhouse and covered my 10 large
rabbiteyes, which were mostly done blooming.   I am hoping that some few
will turn out ok, but between the wind and the 19 degrees, it may be so few
that we'll just let the birds have them.  As for Hector's acre or so of
humongous and extremely productive rabbiteye bushes, I was hoping that he at
least would keep Putnam county in some kind of fruit this year.  When the
frosty winds blow, his always come through, but this was much worse than
usual.  11 degrees sounds like way too cold for the crop to have survived.
    As for Jim Fruth's comments, Jim, we too have wise plants with long
chilling hour requirements.  Alas, between January where we could sit around
in short sleeves and shorts outside in the evenings, and March where we were
sweating in the heat, this was an ambush.  As for Richard Moyer's comments
about welcoming this as a test to remove the pantywaist plants that can't
make it in Tennessee, does he plan to remove everything except cedars,
pines, and blackberries?  Sorry Richard, but this was not your normal late
spring freeze.  This was a disaster for all life for the entire southeastern
US.  I've been thinking about it.  Hailstorns only devastate small areas.
Even hurricanes only cut a swath a mile or so wide.  Earthquakes tend not to
disrupt plants all that much.  And alas, if the 22 year drought cycle holds,
the bad weather is only beginning...       Donna
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