Cold Weather and Agriculture

By Ben Manning |

Published 03/06 2014 11:21PM

Updated 03/06 2014 11:24PM

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - We've had a cold winter with a lot of snow, but what will that mean for farmers and then the rest of us that depend on them to eat. 

This winter has been very different from the past several we've had. And that's good news for some crops but could be bad for others.

Kelly Baronner says the cold weather is very beneficial for them. The ground that has frozen will be a better seed bed in the Spring. The snow is also a help because it raises the water level and the slow melt hasn’t led to any erosion.

The cold temperatures are also killing insects like stink bugs and gypsy moths. In the last few years bug populations exploded in mild winters. Thomas Ford with the Penn State Ag Extension Office says the cold could hurt some crops like peaches. The freeze and thaw have caused trees to bud and then those buds die. That could delay the crop but if we don't have any late freezes the second and third generation buds will take over.

The Baronners are focusing on their sweet corn and vegetable crops this year. And Kelly Baronner says they appreciated the cold winter for its agricultural benefits, but she’s ready for it to be over so they can get back to work.

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