Farmer’s markets may see a delay in produce this season due to an extraordinarily cold winter. Meredith Hall, Agriculture Agent for Crittenden County, says planting is two weeks behind schedule and cold weather crops like lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, may be late to market.
Warm days in the 80s caused plants like broccoli to bolt, or flower early, ruining the crops.
Jason Akers of Serendipity Ecofarm says the growing seasons fell in line despite the harsh winter. Though his strawberries are running behind, Akers says his perennials are doing well.
“It has to get warm and break them out of dormancy and then cold again in order to actually do some harm, and I didn’t see that this spring,” Akers said. “It stayed cool up until a certain point and then it transitioned over pretty smoothly into warmer weather.”
It was also a hard winter for beekeepers. Master Beekeeper Kent Williams lost several hives and says beekeepers whose hives survived are doing an excellent job. Despite the loss of hives, Extension Agent Meredith Hall expects local honey supplies to meet demand.
Hall says the rainy spring could cause problems and advises farmers to watch out for aphids and fungal issues.