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Published June 02, 2015, 11:25 AM

Weekend frost hurts canola crops across region

Even if a newly sprouted canola plant goes through harsh weather, growers know it's hanging on if its center remains green. But after a recent frost, alive was not the state for much of the canola in North Dakota's Cavalier County, according to growers in the area.

By: Crystal Duan , Forum News Service

Even if a newly sprouted canola plant goes through harsh weather, growers know it's hanging on if its center remains green.

But after a recent frost, alive was not the state for much of the canola in North Dakota's Cavalier County, according to growers in the area.

More than 80 percent of canola around Wales, N.D., has been lost to frost from low temperatures this weekend and the weekend of May 18, Wales Farmers Elevator manager Mark Fisk said.

"It pretty much killed a lot of it," he said. "I'm guessing about 100 percent of the (growers) got affected by the frosts."

Fisk said the elevator works with farmers growing on 20,000 acres. Canola growers will have to reseed, putting them behind schedule.

Twelve-hundred of those acres are farmed by Doug Plummer. The unusually low temperatures meant he had to reseed for the first time in years.

"The harvest will probably take a couple of weeks longer than it would have been," Plummer said.

The plants that weren't affected were ones that were seeded a little later, and had not germinated yet, Plummer said.

Samantha Lahman, a North Dakota State University Extension agent for Pembina County, said that it can be difficult to determine the lasting damage from the frost.

"It can take almost a week to see," she said. "At first, everything may look lightly frozen, but sometimes crops can rebound."

The lowest temperatures in Pembina County were 31 degrees this past weekend, so most parts of the county were unaffected, Lahman said. For the northern part of the county that grows canola, re-seeding is on the table.

"I don't think we're going to see major adverse effects in the central or southern parts of the county," Lahman said. "But for canola, we're waiting to see if it can bounce back. If it pulls through, it will be okay. If not, we're looking at a late harvest."

It all depends on whether the canola has a black center, or if it can hang onto that green bit, Plummer said.

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