FAIRFIELD — The current cold spell sweeping through the western United States has thus far spared Solano County from significant crop losses. In fact, the opposite may prove true.
On balance, the cold weather has been more good for Solano County agriculture than bad, according to Solano County Agricultural Commissioner Jim Allan.
The chill temperatures have pushed the county’s stone fruits such as cherries into a deep dormancy, which will help the fruits bloom more evenly once the weather gets warmer.
It has also proven good for the county’s winter grains, with the rain having given them sufficient moisture while the clear weather has given them sufficient sunlight, which means improved chances for a good harvest in the spring.
The very cold temperatures have also bitten into the population of over-wintering insect pests, which translates to a smaller initial population of them once spring arrives to eat into the county’s crops.
It has been bad for the nursery crops such as citrus fruits and strawberries, but it could be worse, according to Allan.
“We usually see problems when it gets colder than this,” he said, pointing out the county’s low overnight temperatures have fortunately not dipped into the low 20s.
Word from the county’s farmers and orchardists, or more specifically, lack thereof, is also encouraging.
“We have not gotten any reports of major losses,” Allan said Tuesday.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.