Weather Hurts Vegetable Crops

Taylor Hillman Field & Row Crops, General, Specialty Crops

salad bowl
There’s been a lot of news coverage on the citrus freeze, but many other crops are facing significant weather damage. Sabrina Hill has more.
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It’s called the Nation’s salad bowl, and with good reason. About 95 percent of the Nation’s winter vegetables are grown in California – specifically Imperial County- and nearby Yuma Arizona. California alone produces more than 70 percent of the nation’s spinach, 88 percent of all cauliflower, and together with Yuma, 98 percent of the nation’s lettuce. All of those crops, along with several others such as asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, strawberries, and avocados, have some damage due to several nights during which the temperature dipped below freezing, and a double impact of strong winds in some areas. It could still take weeks before the freeze damage totals are complete, but individual grower are already reporting enough damage to cause concern about produce availability for this season. To add to the concern, many of these crops are not eligible for crop insurance, leaving the growers out in the cold.