Ice storms and other severe weather can have devastating impacts on agricultural crops, including perennial tree crops. Major ice storms occur at least once a decade, with truly catastrophic "icing events" recorded once or twice a century within a broad belt extending from eastern Texas through New England. Ice storms can result in overwhelming losses to orchards and expensive cleanup for producers.
Because the long limbs of pecan trees act as levers and increase the likelihood of breakage, pecan orchards and groves are particularly susceptible to damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, and ice storms. Ice damage is typically more severe in pecan orchards than other orchard crops.
Oklahoma has 85,740 acres of pecans on 2,879 farms. Ice storms struck Oklahoma four times from 2000 through 2007. The crippling ice storm in December 2000, which hit the southeast quarter of Oklahoma, extended into parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 acres of pecans were damaged in Oklahoma during this storm alone.
Michael W. Smith from the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University, and Charles T. Rohla of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation published a research report in the latest issue of HortTechnology that provides pecan producers, government agencies, and insurance companies with important information concerning orchard management and economics following destructive ice storms.
Cleanup of pecan orchards following ice damage presents enormous challenges for producers. Typical damage, cleanup, and recovery from four ice storms that hit the region from 2000 to 2007 were reported in the study. Trees less than 15 feet tall typically had the least damage; trees 15 to 30 feet tall incurred as much or more damage than larger trees and cleanup costs were greater.
The silver lining: pecan trees are resilient. Most trees can survive and eventually return to productivity following loss of most of their crown. But cleanup costs to ice-damaged pecan orchards are high, ranging from $207 to $419 per acre based on the dollar value in 2008. According to the researchers, these costs were consistent among orchards where the owner supervised the labor and had the resources to obtain equipment necessary to prune and remove debris from the orchard. The cleanup costs paid to "custom operators" for renovating orchards following ice storms were significantly more expensive, ranging from $500 to $800 per acre in 2008 for orchards with similar damage levels.
Explaining the outcomes of the research study, Smith stated; "Following damaging weather events, producers seek information concerning effective cleanup procedures, subsequent management, recovery duration, and economic impact. State and Federal agencies and insurance companies seek guidance concerning economic impact and how to assist producers. Our objective was to provide information for producers and others regarding the impact of an ice storm on pecans."
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/1/83
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Raiding the rape field
23.05.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences
25.05.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation