Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Estimation of damage from a grower and his daughter

Blackberry shoot about to be dissected

A grower in western NC sent me this information that he and his daughter gathered as part of a math lesson. They used real data from the plants that had been damaged from the cold temperatures in April. I have asked them to follow up with pictures and yield data. I will keep you all updated. I have also instructed some of you to do the same in your fields.

Blackberry Freeze Damage/Production Estimate
Conducted 4/24/12
Frost and Freeze occurred 4/12/12 27 degrees on top of field and 25 at bottom
Randomly selected one Navaho plant and removed every fruit shoot and sliced each fruit bud to determine percentage of live buds at this development stage of Navaho.
Marked the plant to later determine new shoot generation.
Plant utilized was a 3rd season plant ¾ up the knoll and mid field.
Data collected:
107 fruiting shoots on the plant.
10 minutes to remove all shoots – (approximately $3334 of labor to remove shoots per acre)
Average of 6 fruit buds per shoot at this development and time of season (there were 5 open blooms on the entire plant)
340 buds were determined “alive” out of 642 buds examined – 53%
These plants have been under a vigorous fertilization/irrigation regiment following the freeze – to hopefully stimulate new growth.
Observations made:
0 buds were found alive the day after the freeze.
The live buds appear to be the ones that have developed after the freeze. The live buds are small ones surrounding the top dead buds or developed at a lower lateral of the fruit shoot.
It appears that there is a possibility of further new buds to develop at lower tiers of the fruit shoot.
There is concern of deformed fruit on some buds that appear to be “alive.”
Natchez were much further developed and 0 to very very few new buds are being found.
The 1st year harvest Navaho appear to have a more significant new bud development – no data at this time.

If you would like some help estimating your damage give me a call or send me an email. This is not like the 2007 freeze, so any information you can share will help us all learn from this experience.

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