Cold's Effect on Arkansas Wheat Still Unknown

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Experts say cold temperatures over the weekend did major damage to Arkansas' fruit crops.  It will be a few days before the effect of the cold on row crops is known.

John Clark, a fruit breeder with the University of Arkansas, says buds had emerged on most of the state's fruit crops before the cold hit, which would make them vulnerable to a freeze.  The state had record low temperatures Sunday morning, from 12 degrees in Lead Hill to 29 degrees in Pine Bluff.

Damage from the cold was enhanced because warm weather in March had avanced many plants as much as several weeks ahead of their normal development.

John Post says the Post Familie Vineyards of Altus in Franklin County expects to lose 100 percent of this year's bunch-grape crop because of the freeze.

The state's wheat crop also likely suffered damage, but the extension service says it's too early to assess the full effect.  An extension wheat specialist with the University of Arkansas is due in Craighead County today to assess any possible damage to local wheat crops.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)