Crop-killing cold expected Monday night, how local farmers plan to survive

first_imgA situation his team avoided just a few nights ago, saying, “We sprayed almost 24 hours on Friday night…but we think it saved the orchard.” As for Monday night, “If we have to turn our sprinkles on we’re going to turn them on.” To make sure their buds turn into apples come September, Russell Farms apple orchard in Brackney, Pennsylvania relies on a sprinkler system. (WBNG) — With crop-killing cold possible for Monday night, farmers in our area are prepared to make sure their crops survive the unseasonably low temperatures. Farmer Michael Russell explains the magic number to use this process is when the trees hit 28 degrees. When it warms back up, you can bring them back out safe and sound. The farm also grows other fruits and vegetables in Lancaster, PA. This happens in the much warmer environment of a greenhouse until about the end of May. At the farm’s farm stand in Vestal on rare, chilly nights, Russell explains, “We’re working harder to bring those plants under the tents, tent side the whole tent in and then put heat in there so then when the morning comes we’ll pull everything back out and it’ll be just as good as it was yesterday.” Without the pump on rare, cold nights, Russell said, “Once we get down to 25 [degrees] if you didn’t have protection and you would pretty much lose your whole crop of apples.” Staff explain when used, the system wets the trees, which turns into an icy coating in the cold temperatures. This ice insulates the trees, therefore allowing them to warm up a few degrees. If you’re concerned about your plants on an unseasonable cold night, Russell suggests bringing them inside your home or garage for the night. last_img