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Purdue Ag Specialists: Prolonged Cold Snap May Damage Crops


Freezing temperatures this week are concerning Purdue University agricultural specialists.

Peaches, grapes and wheat are especially vulnerable right now. Greg Bossaer, assistant program leader for agriculture and natural resources at Purdue Extension, says it’s possible that prolonged freezing temperatures could decrease the supply or increase the price of affected crops.

“The jury’s still out here, and it’s probably going to depend on these next few evenings,” he says.

Temperatures dipped as low as 18-degrees on Tuesday this week. The cold spell is expected to last at least through Saturday.

Crops are more vulnerable this year because of the warmer March.  That warm spell coaxed plants into sprouting early. Now, freezes are damaging crops’ growing point—the cells responsible for plant growth.

Bossaer says it’s difficult to predict how much damage will be done, because damage only shows up after crops have a little bit of time to resume growing.