Frigid Cold Temperatures Harming Local Crops
KREX News Room
PALISADE, Colo.- All these cold temperatures we've been experiencing lately have been a nuisance for most of us, but especially for certain farmers as they try to harvest their crops.
Farmers say there are certain limitations when it comes to growing wine grapes within the state, and the Grand Valley is on the edge of that zone. However, with all of these cold temperatures, that zone is becoming more adverse.
“Anytime you lose the crop, you have lost your income,” said Bruce Talbott, farm manager at Talbott Farms.
Talbott says the current winter season has been a tough one as he continues to see crop damage. Though the popular farm is known for their peaches, that’s not the harvest this farmer is afraid of losing.
“What we are more concerned about is the wine grapes because they are a little more sensitive to mid-winter temperatures,” said Talbott.
Temperatures that officials from the National Weather Service say have been the coldest in years
“We have had 33 days where our high has not reached over freezing,” said Tom Renwick, forecaster at the National Weather Service. “So as far as this winter compared to others, it’s much colder and if you recall, we didn’t drop below zero once last year.”
But as that cold air continues to descend in the Grand Valley, it's a piece of technology that may be saving Talbott Farms from losing all their crops.
“The main tool that we have for working with cold air is the wind machines,” said Talbott.
The devices work to grab warm air from above and blow out any cold air that may be harming vines or trees.
“It’s kind of an insurance policy,” said Talbott. “If we can’t crop consistently, we're unviable and we can’t continue to grow whatever we are cropping.”
Even though it may be too early to know exactly what the rest of the winter period will bring, officials believe these cold temperatures won't put a significant delay on the upcoming wine and fruit seasons.
Talbott says all the damage has already been done this winter season. However, if it were to warm up and we hit another cold spell in the spring, there would be additional harm done to his crops.