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Fruits Avoid the Freeze in Columbia County

Posted on: 4:01 pm, April 2, 2012, by , updated on: 07:54pm, April 2, 2012

For the second time in two weeks, dropping temperatures have some farmers in our area worried.

Last week high winds prevented freezing temperatures from damaging a lot of crops.

With more cold weather expected Monday night, farmers are hoping for the best.

Peaches, apples, plums and pears are growing ahead of schedule at Rohrbach’s Farm Market near Catawissa.  Owner Ron Rohrbach said the crops are coming in about one month earlier than usual because of the mild winter.

“Once it starts growing, we can’t stop it.  It’s going to keep growing and there’s not much we can do about holding it back, anything along that line,” said Ron Rohrbach.

He added because the fruit is growing early, freezing temperatures, such as those we had last week could cause problems.

“Which would obviously damage the fruit and in some cases would eliminate the whole crop,” said Rohrbach.

He believes what saved his plants during last week’s cold snap was the heavy wind.  He said the wind kept air moving, not allowing frost to settle on the bulbs.

“It seemed to be what was a big help to us as far as saving the fruit crop,” said Rohrbach.

He can tell if a plant is damaged from freezing by the color of its bulb.

“The whole internal part would be black, all shriveled up.  That’s a good determination that it’s not good.  But these are still nice and green,” said Rohrbach.

With another cold snap on the way, Rohrbach said there is not much he can do to prevent freeze damage.  He said the plants will survive if temps are in the high 20s, but he is hoping for more wind to blow away any frost.

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