MSU Researcher Offers Tips On Minimizing Freeze Damage

Growers throughout the East may be experiencing temperatures well above normal for this time of year. But there is still potential for a late freeze, which means it’s a good idea to be fully prepared for the worst.

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) feel the same way. Two recent reports from MSU Extension provide growers with important rules to consider.

For example, modifying the soil to capture and retain more heat is a way growers can reduce spring freeze injury. Weed-free soil retains more heat than freshly cultivated or unmowed sites and a few degrees may make a difference this spring. As MSU Extension agent Mark Longstroth says, “Cover crops can shade the soil. resulting in cooler soils during radiation frosts. Keeping the soil surface clean of vegetation allows it to absorb more heat during the day. Soils have a large heat capacity, so they can capture and store considerable heat during sunny days.” For more tips from Longstroth, click here.

In another report, Longstroth says that irrigation sprinklers can be used to protect plants from freezing when the expected lows are just below freezing. However, while sprinklers can be effective in many circumstances, “they can actually increase injury if used at the wrong time.” Longstroth goes on to offer several suggestions on monitoring wind speed, and knowing when to turn the system on and off. For the full report, click here.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “MSU Researcher Offers Tips On Minimizing Freeze Damage

  1. We have 3 acres of Chinese and European-Japanese chestnut trees. I've heard that you could spray your trees with potassium before a frost to bring the sugars up in the trees, keeping them warmer. Is this true, and if so, where could I read about this procedure. I'm sure we will have a destroying frost somewhere between now and the end of May, and would like to try something to keep the temps up during the night(s). Any suggestions on this?

Featured Stories
Crop ProtectionNimitz Receives Section 24(c) Label In Florida
September 4, 2015
The nematicide can be used in several Florida counties on direct-seeded crops. Read More
TomatoesCalifornia’s 2015 Processing Tomato Crop Is Forecast To Hit Record High
September 4, 2015
Production is forecast 4% above the 2014 crop, in part due to low disease and pest pressure. Read More
Apples & PearsPractices To Prevent Honeycrisp Postharvest Disorders
September 4, 2015
Honeycrisp can be extremely challenging to grow, harvest, and store. In the latest Penn State University Extension bulletin, Tara Baugher, Read More
GrapesWashington Winegrape Harvest Earlier Than Ever
September 3, 2015
  This year’s juice and winegrape harvest in Washington is historic. Michelle Moyer, Washington State University assistant professor, Dept. of Read More
FruitsBeaudry, Watkins, And Davenport Named Fellows Of American Society for Horticultural Science
September 3, 2015
Randolph Beaudry of Michigan State University (MSU), Joan Davenport of Washington State University (WSU), and Christopher Watkins of Cornell University Read More
GrapesWildfires Raise Fears Of Grape Smoke Taint
September 3, 2015
 The current wildfires in Washington have left many growers wondering if smoke taint could impact the flavor of their winegrapes. Read More
FruitsOrganic Industry Unites To “Bust Myths” Throughout September
September 2, 2015
Organic Trade Association members join forces in social media blitz to address misconceptions about organic production. Read More
CitrusResearchers Use Wasps To Protect Citrus Trees From Greening
September 2, 2015
A recent story in the Los Angeles Times highlights some of the new research being conducted in the fight against Read More
Apples & PearsHard Cider Organization Offers Accredited Program
September 1, 2015
United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM) introduces Sicera, the first-ever hard Cider Certification Program. This accreditation program is designed Read More
Apples & PearsProducts To Help Prevent Preharvest Drop In Apple Orchards
September 1, 2015
In the latest Extension bulletin from Penn State University, James Schupp associate professor of pomology suggests several products to apply Read More
The Latest
Crop ProtectionNimitz Receives Section 24(c) Label In Florida
September 4, 2015
The nematicide can be used in several Florida counties on direct-seeded crops. Read More
TomatoesCalifornia’s 2015 Processing Tomato Crop Is Forecast To…
September 4, 2015
Production is forecast 4% above the 2014 crop, in part due to low disease and pest pressure. Read More
Apples & PearsPractices To Prevent Honeycrisp Postharvest Disorders
September 4, 2015
Honeycrisp can be extremely challenging to grow, harvest, and store. In the latest Penn State University Extension bulletin, Tara Baugher, Read More
GrapesWashington Winegrape Harvest Earlier Than Ever
September 3, 2015
  This year’s juice and winegrape harvest in Washington is historic. Michelle Moyer, Washington State University assistant professor, Dept. of Read More
FruitsBeaudry, Watkins, And Davenport Named Fellows Of Ameri…
September 3, 2015
Randolph Beaudry of Michigan State University (MSU), Joan Davenport of Washington State University (WSU), and Christopher Watkins of Cornell University Read More
GrapesWildfires Raise Fears Of Grape Smoke Taint
September 3, 2015
 The current wildfires in Washington have left many growers wondering if smoke taint could impact the flavor of their winegrapes. Read More
FruitsOrganic Industry Unites To “Bust Myths” Thr…
September 2, 2015
Organic Trade Association members join forces in social media blitz to address misconceptions about organic production. Read More
CitrusResearchers Use Wasps To Protect Citrus Trees From Gree…
September 2, 2015
A recent story in the Los Angeles Times highlights some of the new research being conducted in the fight against Read More
Apples & PearsHard Cider Organization Offers Accredited Program
September 1, 2015
United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM) introduces Sicera, the first-ever hard Cider Certification Program. This accreditation program is designed Read More
Apples & PearsProducts To Help Prevent Preharvest Drop In Apple Orcha…
September 1, 2015
In the latest Extension bulletin from Penn State University, James Schupp associate professor of pomology suggests several products to apply Read More
Apples & PearsMarvin Sundquist Dies At 89
September 1, 2015
Marvin Sundquist, the retired owner of Sundquist Fruit and Cold Storage, died on Aug. 29 at the age of 89, Read More
Apples & PearsSyngenta Receives EPA Registration For Solatenol  Fungi…
September 1, 2015
The fungicide is available in four product offerings, pending state registrations. Read More
Grower Achievement AwardPero Family Farms Is The 2015 Grower Achievement Award …
September 1, 2015
The farm family that runs this Delray Beach-FL based operation develops, produces, packages, and markets its fresh-cut products while continuing to think outside the box. Read More
Dennis P. Broadaway
CitrusFlorida Citrus Packers Bestows Association’s Highest Ho…
September 1, 2015
For his dedication to the Sunshine State’s fresh citrus sector, Dennis Broadaway receives John T. Lesley Award for Excellence. Read More
Citrus Achievement AwardSaving Citrus A Perpetual Task
September 1, 2015
Orie Lee, the 2015 Citrus Achievement Award winner, talks about how growing citrus has changed in his lifetime and how it hasn't. Read More
Florida Ag Expo10th Annual Florida Ag Expo Field Tours To Tackle Produ…
September 1, 2015
There will be plenty to see and learn during the milestone event's exclusive field trials. Read More
Apples & PearsPennsylvania Congressman Supports CIDER Act
August 31, 2015
Freshman Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06) spent a recent afternoon at Frecon Farms in Boyertown, PA, to tout the CIDER Act, Read More
Oriental Fruit fly
CitrusExotic Fruit Flies Invade South Florida
August 31, 2015
Efforts are under way to eradicate pest that attacks more than 230 different fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Read More