Overnight freezing temperatures threaten local crops

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- A March freeze is making it's way to south central Kentucky Tuesday night, bringing predicted teen temperatures along with worry for many farmers and gardeners. But one Bowling Green orchard and nursery is choosing to stay hopeful during the bitterly cold night.

"A lot of people being affected by this, not just us. It's uneasy. Not a whole lot we can do about it. It'll be a rough night but we will get through it. We're optimistic," Jackson's Orchard Field Manager Jonathan Price stated.

As Jonathan Price has no choice but to sit back and watch what mother nature does to his crops, the field manager for Jackson's Orchard says his current fruit development has a chance to pull through.

"We got plums in bloom, we've got some peaches in bloom, apples are barely breaking dormancy. Up to this point, we're fine. We've got enough peach blooms still closed that we may hit a little injury out there, but again, we're optimistic that we're going to come through this," Jonathan Price mentioned.

Regarding the science behind the crop outcome, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Agent for Agriculture-Warren County Joanna Coles says temperature is just one factor of many when it comes to the aftermath of a freeze.

"We had such an advance because of the 70 degree January-February that we had, crops are further along then they normally are. It depends on whether we get any snowfall with the freeze, how long it stays cold in the amount of time, and how cold it actually gets," Joanna Coles stated.

But at the end of the day, Jonathan believes his family business will make through this March freeze.

"We're on top of this hill, and we can be 3,4, 5 degrees warmer on top than down at the bottom, and that can really make or break a crop, so, we're optimistic," Price mentioned.

Jonathan Price says the first thing on Thursday morning's agenda will be cutting buds and blooms and assessing the damage Mother Nature brought.

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