HUDSON, Colo. (KDVR) — Friday’s late-season spring snowstorm has Colorado farmers keeping a very close eye on their crops.
Two years ago, Palisade lost more than 90% of its peach crop due to a hard freeze at the end of April. Now, farmers across the state are trying to make sure a similar situation does not happen this year.
“Farming, it’s just a roll of the dice,” said Anita Rossi, of Rossi Produce.
Last year, an August hailstorm destroyed more than 90% of the crops in their fields.
“We raise pumpkins and the hard squashes for Safeway Albertsons and we supply a couple farmer’s markets with stuff, and mostly pumpkins and hay and alfalfa for two of our largest dairies locally,” Rossi said.
She is hoping the odds are in their favor heading into this season. However, the forecast predicts snow and temperatures below freezing.
“We’re getting ready, battening down the hatches, I guess,” Rossi said.
Farm staff spent Thursday prepping for the incoming weather.
“We started spraying stuff so we have to drain all the pumps, and we laid out all the plastic ready to start irrigating and with this wind, hopefully it won’t blow away,” Rossi said.
Farm hopes for mild freeze to keep produce alive
However, she said she does not believe their produce is in jeopardy.
Tender vegetables like peppers and tomatoes are still in their greenhouse. Their freshly delivered batch of watermelon seedlings are waiting out the storm inside and will be planted next week. The rest of their produce should withstand the storm, Rossi said.
“If the corn is coming up, we hope that this freeze isn’t going to be too horrible to kill it down,” she said. “But a lot of our seed that we’ve put in the ground, it was … just ready to start germinating when it dried right out, so we’re hoping that this water will get in there and of course, it won’t hurt it if it’s under the ground, the freeze.”
According to Rossi, the farm’s beet crop may not survive the frost. But, it is early enough in the season to replant.
“Yeah, it’d just be the cost of the seeds,” she said.
Rossi said reseeding small batches of lost crops is a worthy sacrifice in comparison to the invaluable moisture the storm could provide for farms like theirs.
“Right now, we’re excited to have this moisture. We need this moisture so desperately and we have been in drought for years, and now there is no sub-moisture. That little moisture we did get this year, the wind blew like it’s doing today and dried it all up,” Rossi said.
Full Pinpoint Weather coverage
On TV and online, the Pinpoint Weather Team will keep you updated with the latest forecast for Denver and Colorado. Be sure to download the free Pinpoint Weather App to stay up-to-date with the newest data as it comes in. Stay tuned to FOX31 and Channel 2 for live team coverage throughout the storm.
- Closings & Delays: Full List
- Interactive Radar
- Delays and cancellations at Denver International Airport
Do you have questions about this late-season winter storm? The Pinpoint Meteorologist Team holds frequent Ask a Met segments on FOX31 NOW.
You can submit a question during our live broadcasts, or on Twitter using #AskAMet. Another way to ask your questions is by emailing email@example.com.