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October 24, 2013   Email to Friend 

Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406
October 24, 2013

Cold weather moving into Alabama could negatively impact late-maturing peanuts, cotton and soybeans. University of Georgia Peanut Agronomist Dr. John Beasley said farmers should not dig peanuts Friday to avoid frost damage.

Late-maturing soybeans, cotton and peanuts could suffer from frost or freezing conditions forecasted this weekend for north and central Alabama. With clear skies and light winds, temperatures in the low 30s are expected Friday morning and may dip into the 20s Saturday morning.

“All farmers can do now is wait and see how the cold weather affects crops,” said Alabama Farmers Federation Cotton, Soybean and Wheat & Feed Grains Divisions Director Buddy Adamson. “The corn harvest is almost complete, but more than half of Alabama’s cotton and soybean crops are still in the fields. The cold weather could prevent unopened cotton bolls from opening and hurt yields of late-planted soybeans.”

University of Georgia Peanut Agronomist Dr. John Beasley said farmers should stop peanut digging until the cold weather passes. When warmer temperatures return, Beasley suggests harvesting any remaining peanuts because they stop maturing after three or more days with temperatures in the lower 40s.

“I would not dig any at all on Friday,” Beasley wrote in an email alert for the Georgia Peanut Commission. “Freeze damage to kernels can devalue peanuts. The forecast is showing warmer low temperatures as we enter next week.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a freeze warning in effect Friday morning for Colbert, Jackson, Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison counties. This means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or likely.

A frost advisory is also in effect Friday morning for Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, St. Clair, Walker and Winston counties. Patchy frost is expected, especially in valleys and sheltered areas.

The average first freeze for north Alabama cities ranges from Oct. 17 in Fayetteville to Nov. 2 in Muscle Shoals. For central Alabama, the average first freeze ranges from Nov. 4 in Anniston to Nov. 11 in Montgomery.

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