Snow is fertilizer for farmers

Snow is fertilizer for farmers

Credit: Agriculture Dept. of Texas

Snow is fertilizer for farmers

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 5 at 12:57 PM

NORFOLK -- After four winter snowfalls, lots of people are ready for warm weather.

There's a good side to the snowfall you might not have considered. 

“Anytime you get a little help from Mother Nature, it might require less fertilizer from the farmer,” Chesapeake agriculture extension agent Watson Lawrence said.

Farmers call snow “poor man’s fertilizer” because it's full of nutrients. Right now, the wheat crop will green up much quicker because of the added nitrogen.

The cold winter is also helping to kill off insects and the snow is making the ground moister for spring planting. However, it’s a balancing act because too much water in the soil can keep farmers from planting seeds.

So, will you notice a difference in your food or see prices drop? Not quite.  Lawrence explained the snow helps only the crops currently in the field. So, you won’t taste plumper strawberries because that fruit forms in April. 

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