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!
Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy