Starting in June 2018, NSFA opened a feedback form to understand the extent of the damage caused by the frost and below freezing temperatures in the late spring.
To date we had over 50 replies to the survey from across numerous commodities. Christmas Trees, Wild Blueberries, Apples, Grapes and Horticulture Crops were those that we heard from most. Following a conference call and dialogue with commodity groups, here are some startling facts:
- Each of Wild Blueberries, Apples and Christmas Tress expect at least a 50% crop loss across the industry this year alone.
- Some farms will experience 75-80% in crop loss this year. For example, in the Lunenburg County area, where 60-70% of Nova Scotia’s Christmas Trees are grown, producers expect 60-70% crop loss on each farm.
- Some farms will experience a 100% crop loss this year.
- We heard from Wild Blueberry producers who have damaged sprout fields which will impact the 2019 crop.
- Most farms won’t know until at least the fall the extent of the damage. For example, Christmas trees farmers won’t know more until it is time to shear and Wild Blueberry growers won’t know the extent of the damage until harvest.
- Farmers are addressing the challenges through different cost cutting measuring including hiring fewer labourers or none at all.
- We have heard from some farmers who said that the crop was looking okay with minimal damage. However, as the crop matured, signs of damaged appeared.
Thank-you to everyone who provided feedback on the troubling frost and freeze damage this Spring. The survey will remain open into the fall for those who wish to report damage as it appears. Moving forward, NSFA has been lobbying government for late enrollment for Agri Stability and financial support for farmers through other means.
Survey can be found here: https://nsfa-fane.ca/frost-damage-report/