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Workers roll ag cloth out on Clowers Farms fields near Northeast Dogwood Lane in Madras.People driving past local fields may have wondered about the white stripes appearing in some of them.

Rich Affeldt, agronomist at Central Oregon Seeds Inc. explained that the stripes are called “ag cloth” or “ag fabric.”

“The ag fabric is installed in the fall to help the carrot plants survive over the winter. It’s our insurance policy for the winter,” Affeldt said.

He said carrots to grow seed are planted two ways, from stecklings (plant starts) in the spring, and from seeds, which are planted in August.

Ag cloth is used in the seed-to-seed production. The seed sprouts and grows to the seedling stage in the late fall. It is then covered with ag cloth to keep it warmer and protected during the cold winter months.

“Usually there is no problem, but some varieties are weaker, especially with the rain and storm damage some of our plants had just as they were coming up. That delayed their maturity and we’ll use the paper on them,” he said.

Mark Wunsch, who coordinates the ag cloth application, estimated COSI uses 1,500 rolls of cloth a season, and said each roll is half a mile long.

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