Mon., March 5, 2012 8:52am (EST)

Worry Blooms With Early Spring
By Parker Wallace
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
The mild winter and early spring this year could extend the growing season for farmers throughout the state; but a March frost could jeopardize a huge percentage of crops for farmers like Philip Dow, of Grantville, Georgia’s Lone Oak Farm.  His says his crop of strawberries is blooming almost a month ahead of schedule. (Photo Courtesy: Parker Wallace)
The mild winter and early spring this year could extend the growing season for farmers throughout the state; but a March frost could jeopardize a huge percentage of crops for farmers like Philip Dow, of Grantville, Georgia’s Lone Oak Farm.  His says his crop of strawberries is blooming almost a month ahead of schedule. (Photo Courtesy: Parker Wallace)
This has been one of the earliest springs Georgia has seen in years, with unseasonably warm weather and early blooms. But also blooming is concern that a cold snap could wipe out Georgia farmers with early crops.

The mild winter and early spring this year could extend the growing season for farmers throughout the state; but a March frost could jeopardize a huge percentage of crops for farmers like Philip Dow, of Grantville, Georgia’s Lone Oak Farm. His says his crop of strawberries is blooming almost a month ahead of schedule:

“Probably about a 50% chance that if we get a cold snap that goes into the low 30’s or high 20’s that it would wipe out 50% of the crop. 50% would just be devastating.”

The warmer weather also means an earlier and longer allergy season. University of Georgia entomologists say they’ve already had reports of ticks, and mosquito season will get off to an early start as well.