The freezes that damaged strawberry crops in 2010 may be a bad memory, but studies are continuing on how growers can best protect their crops in frigid conditions.
University of Florida Professor Michael Dukes recently completed a study on how crops could be protected with sprinklers that use a lower volume of water and better technology during freezes. Growers commonly spray water on the crops to protect them from damaging temperatures.
Dukes’ research showed that growers could use lower-pressure sprinklers and automated systems to turn on sprinklers according to the dew point, not the air temperature. He said the dew point is a more accurate way to judge when farmers need to start their protective irrigation.
Dukes said there hasn’t been a hard freeze since he started his research so work needs to continue to see how low volume sprinklers and the updated technology would work during...