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 5
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
What on earth?
Opposition slams ALC bill
Sidebar: Protection & pushback
Editorial: Truth in labelling
Back Forty: So you don’t believe in climate change
Viewpoint: Don’t blame the cows for global warming
Ag council’s lobbying efforts produce results
Learning a new skill
Foundation’s nest egg for funding projects increases
Province will hold the line on piece rates
New CEO aims to kindle team spirit at co-op
FIRB decision prompts rethink of pricing scheme
Beekeepers see potential in technology transfer
AgSafe markes quarter century
Raspberries hit hard by harsh February
Blueberry growers anxious for new varieties
Biological controls for pests in demand
Sidebar: Pesticides in play
Growers urged to focus on fresh
Westgen celebrates 75 years of excellence
Top seller was no-show at Holstein sale
Spring show attracts exhibitors from Quebec
Cheesemakers unite to grow niche market
Range use permits under greater scrutiny
Sidebar: Range use plans go digital
Market Musings: Top bulls sell for top dollar at spring sales
Grapegrowers share sustainability objectives
Grape specialist honoured for dedication
Hazelnut production expands across BC
Sidebar: Pest pressures
Supporters take to AITC’s Sips & Sprouts
Research: Cultured meat fails to impress researchers
UAVs undergo testing for pesticide delivery
Sustainability goes beyond saving farmland
Father and daughter roll with the last of the steel wheels
Woodshed: Susan Henderson is warming to country life
Wannabe: Farming is more than just a job
Surplus, cull fruit finds new purpose as tasty snacks
Jude’s Kitchen: Special food for special moms