Frost brings challenges, benefits to local farms

Temperatures dropped into the mid-30s overnight

DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It is getting much colder in the morning now across the region, and farmers are already starting to see the effects. A frost advisory was issued for all of western Massachusetts, ending at 8:00 Monday morning.

Temperatures overnight went down into the mid-30s across the Pioneer Valley.

During frost advisories, it is advised to bring in outdoor plants or have them covered. 22News found out that farmers also have to take precautions to protect crops.

“We do grow pumpkins and squash, and there is concern with them in the field low lying areas not wanting to lose that. You can get frost damage, soft spots developing, and storability problems,” said Ben Clark, co-owner of Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield.

Clark said that they keep their squash and pumpkins in bins covered overnight. Most of their pumpkins have already been harvested.

The frost won’t greatly affect crops as long as it is not continuous.

Clark did say that the frost actually benefits tree fruit. It helps sweeten their apples, including Macintosh, Cortland, and Macoun.

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