Crops damaged in weekend thunderstorms
Heavy rain and dime-sized hail fell across the region on Friday and Saturday, mixed with thunder and lightning and agriculture producers in Jefferson County are still figuring out where their crops stand after the storm.
"I think people are still keeping stock of the damage," said Jeremiah Dung of Oregon State Extension Service.
He said he has been hearing some third-party information about at least one alfalfa field damaged, as well as a hemp field and some carrot seed crops, but it's too early to have reports on what was actually lost to the storm.
"What I have heard from a few growers is the damage was kind of spotty," he said, since some areas were hit by hail and others just got rain.
Some crops can be more susceptible to damage from storms like that of this past weekend, according to Dung. For example, more tender plants, such as alfalfa or hemp, if hit too hard by adverse weather, can end up having their stems stripped of the leaves and seed crops can have the seed knocked off the plant as well.
Right now, Dung said that it is his understanding that a lot of the carrot seed fields escaped much damage from the storm, but it is still early after the event.
He said that this season, overall, he has been hearing the fields are looking nice, but it is hard to really say if the season has been a good one until the harvest, when they can talk about yield and quality of the seed. He did mention that the spring rains were helpful to the beginning of the seed crop season, giving the plants a good start.
The damage to a crop depends on when in the season a storm like this hits. If it hits early in the season, things usually bounce back better than they do when it hits later in the season.
Currently, in terms of seed crops, the area is in its final weeks of harvesting grass seed and getting ready to plant carrots for next year, Dung said. The current crop of carrot seed won't be harvested for several more weeks.
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