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Cold wave in Arizona threatens crops and homeless

 
Xorizov
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01/12/2013 01:58 PM
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Cold wave in Arizona threatens crops and homeless
"Consumers in the Valley and nationwide can expect a bump in the prices of lettuce and other winter crops as a result of a four-night freeze moving through Arizona. It will be nearly impossible to save all the crops, say farmers and agricultural experts. Lettuce and leafy vegetables will be hardest hit. Root crops, such as carrots, beets and radishes, will be affected, as will broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Citrus also is likely to take a hit. “It will be more a question of quality than survival,” said Kurt nolte, a University of Arizona agricultural expert in Yuma, who says lettuce growers are well-prepared for cold snaps. Less prepared are Valley residents, who will be facing freezing temperatures through Sunday night.

"They may have to protect landscape and garden plants by covering them with sheets or blankets. Much of the state, including Yuma, La Paz and Maricopa counties, is under a freeze warning through the weekend. Pinal, Pima and Santa Cruz counties have freeze watches in place."

"Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, home of the official national Weather Service reporting station, expects temperatures to drop to 30 to 32 degrees the next three nights. The airport is one of the warmest locations in the Valley, however. Expect temperatures in some neighborhoods to drop into the 20s. The low temperatures will be particularly tough on homeless people, some of whom do not habitually use shelters. Officials at Central Arizona Shelter Services said Valley shelters will have plenty of open beds this weekend."

"They are asking for donations of warm clothing, blankets and hygiene supplies to take care of additional clients. Groups like Phoenix Rescue Mission were handing out blankets to homeless individuals on Friday. The mission has about 400 blankets stocked up at its shelter, located at 1801 S. 35th Ave., said nicole Pena, director of public relations. The mission will continue to give out blankets as long as the cold weather persists, she said. Pena said the mission will continue to restock blankets from their warehouse as the cold weather continues."

"The shelter will also have 150 emergency beds available, as well as heaters on the patio, Pena said. The biggest impact of the relatively long cold spell, however, will be to plants. In Yuma County, 70,000 acres of lettuce is growing. Farmers will irrigate, as water is warmer than the air and takes longer to cool down, and cover crops with black sheeting. The black sheeting holds in warmth and warms up faster in the morning, enabling picking to resume."

"Winter produce from Yuma County accounts for almost a third of the state’s agricultural output, Nolte said, and 50percent of Yuma’s economy. Closer to home, growers of leafy greens and other vegetables are equally concerned about the weather. Brett Hunt of Rousseau Farming Co., based in Tolleson, said the company has about 4,000acres under cultivation around the Valley."

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Xorizov (OP)

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01/12/2013 02:08 PM
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Re: Cold wave in Arizona threatens crops and homeless
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Xorizov (OP)

User ID: 32043789
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01/12/2013 02:20 PM
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Re: Cold wave in Arizona threatens crops and homeless
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