Sonoran Crops Damaged By Cold, Snowy Weather

Published: Friday, January 4, 2019 - 3:19pm
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Gobierno de Sonora
The Sonoran agricultural agency started surveying fields for damage after snow and extreme cold in early January 2019.
Gobrierno de Sonora
Winter crops across the state of Sonora, Mexico have been damaged by snow and unusually cold weather in early January 2019.

Produce growers in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, are asking authorities to declare a state of emergency as snowfall and extreme cold weather damage thousands of crops throughout the state.

Sonoran farmers are estimating that more than 30,000 acres of crops have already been damaged by frost in recent days, though they say they are not done surveying the fields.

Garlic and asparagus are particularly affected in the northern part of the state, according to local farmers unions, and squash chili peppers, potatoes and tomatillo are suffering in the south.

“The crops that were still going in Sonora, this cold snap kind of finishes them off,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in Nogales, Arizona.

He said cold weather has affected Sonoran crops all year that slowed down the volume of produce flowing north.

“Every year’s a little different, part of it’s weather and part of it’s markets, and the growers and the shippers just do the best they can,” he said.

But companies and consumers in Arizona likely won’t feel the effects this recent freeze because most imports of Mexican produce are coming from farther south this time of year.

“A lot of the crops are transitioning already from Sonora to Sinaloa,” he said.

But farmers in Sonora say more snow and freezing temperatures forecast for the coming days could make their situation worse if more crops are hit with frost.

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