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Automated weather alert system helps tender fruit farmers mitigrate winter damage

June 02, 2015

A new website is helping tender fruit growers monitor the cold hardiness of their buds over the winter months and manage possible winter injury.

Growers can register on www.tenderfruitalert.ca to receive free email alerts about potential low temperature situations that can help them make decisions about when they should use tools like frost fans and wind machines to protect against the weather.
The online, automated weather alert system was launched by Ontario Tender Fruit as part of a project funded through Growing Forward 2 so growers can better mitigate climate-induced damage to their orchards and crops. Ontario’s tender fruit crops include peaches, nectarines, cherries, apricots, and plums.

“In 2012, we had a warm spring followed by a cold spell that killed a lot of blossoms, and we had no real data on what was happening in the field,” says Ontario Tender Fruit Chair Phil Tregunno, who farms near Niagara-on-the-Lake. “We knew we needed more information on when we can expect damage to our blossoms so that we can do a better job at managing our ...

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