Freezing Cold Temperatures Would Hold Back Crop Growth
KREX News Room
PALISADE, Colo.- Freezing temperatures aren't what local farmers want to deal with right now. The evolution of this year’s crops is beginning to take shape, but healthy growth will stop if overnight conditions become harsh.
“This has happened numerous times,” said Robert Helmer, owner of Alidas Fruits. “I have been here for 25 times and I have probably froze out about 10 times.
Helmer has fallen accustomed to crazy weather patterns but as clouds cover Mount Garfield and temperatures drop below freezing, weather could make for more than a ruined view for farmers in the Grand Valley.
“If it gets down to 20 degrees, these crops would be 99-100 percent wiped out,” said Helmer.
These freezing temperatures are similar to the last two years and Joe Ramey of the National Weather Service says they're always watching for these spells and are worried for farmers.
“I am hoping it won’t be a third year,” said Ramey. “But I know that fruit growers are especially concerned and starting to take measures to address these temperatures.
Measures that Helmer says could be useless if it gets too cold.
Farmers rely on wind machines to rid all the cold weather, but these temperatures could be too great for their crops to handle.
“The wind machines aren't going to save the fruit,” said Helmer. “They're good for 4-5 degrees.”
Leaving this farmer and others across the area to deal with yet another restless night, and await the fate of their crops.
“What do you do? You wait for next year, there is always next year,” said Helmer. “There's nothing you can do.”
Except hope that "open" sign still sits in the window.