March 6, 2019
by PETER MITHAM
February has gone down in the record books as the coldest on record, particularly in southern BC where the locals typically bask in blossoms and blue skies.
Water on fields in Delta were glazed over last week and frost has Longview Farms on the Saanich Peninsula – the country’s largest daffodil farm – anxious to see how its flowers fared.
Reports are also starting to trickle in of winter losses for beekeepers, but a clear picture won’t be available until later this spring.
The good news is that the cold weather was a bump in the road to a new season for most growers.
Tree fruit and grape growers, for instance, have come close but not seen temperatures that would tend to damage their plants. Growers of field crops also have some time before planting begins.
Consistently chill temperatures also mean that plants didn’t face dramatic shifts in conditions, adding to stress from the cold itself. Indeed, temperatures in the Lower Mainland seldom dipped to less than -5 degrees Celsius, the official threshold for declaring a cold snap. This means February was balmy in the Lower Mainland compared to the winter of 2017, when records fell as temperatures stayed below -5 degrees for more than 33 days.
While indoor operations will see higher heating costs, the arrival of warmer temperatures this week signals a welcome turn towards spring.
Vol. 105 Issue 3
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
Province boosts ag spending
It’s a draw!
Editorial: Vice grip
Back Forty: Snow days make good days for seed selection
Viewpoint: Farmers need to prepare for annual snow melt
Smooth start to season as foreign workers arrive
Sidebar: Province mulls piece rates
Late winter has some Okanagan growers on edge
Ag show attracts near-record attendance
Ag Briefs: Traceability funding available for producers
Ag Briefs: Cattlemen’s launches webinar series
Ag Briefs: Grant winner announced
Labour remains a priority for fruit growers
Dairy, aquaculture take home awards at gala
Farmers need to prepare for uncertainty
Ag critic listens to concerns at farmers’ institute
Growers are responsible for workers’ safety
Robotic milkers sized up during dairy tour
Safe, high-quality silage depends on preparation
Diversification makes orchard a landmark
Ranchers need to match forage with herd needs
Producers question new Indigenous rights law
Hosting TRU students a way to give back
Livestock co-op provides selling, buying options
Sidebar: Market set to stay steady
Research: Bluetongue outbreaks expected to increase
Filling a niche for gourmet mushrooms
Regulations, housing key issues in Langley
Sheep producers seeing value in genetic program
Above and beyond
Vegetation fundamental to farms, landscape
Studies continue on forage, corn crop pests
4-H BC leader singled out
Growers go with the grain of beer revival
Agri-tourism has plenty of room for growth
Rose stem girdler poses threat to cranberries
Site prep critical for healthy hazelnut orchards
Sidebar: BC renewal program opens up
Wannabe: Renewal comes with a new generation of farmers
Woodshed: Deborah and Doug McLeod turn up the heat
A good place to meet up
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate spring by eating outside