Temperatures will start to rise, and the long, cold winter will begin to recede – but for a lot of local farms, the damage already may have been done. The extreme lows reached this year could impact crops, timing and pricing for agricultural businesses throughout the region, experts said. "We haven’t had anything like this in 20, 25 years," said Atlantic County Agricultural Agent Gary Pavlis…Mark Ehlenfeldt, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Rutgers University, spoke at the Blueberry Open House in Hammonton on Thursday, where growers heard from researchers on all aspects of growing the fruit. "People have been concerned about how much cold we have had, and have we had any damage?" Ehlenfeldt said. "Our research shows that if buds are unopened and tight, they are 50 percent hardy to at least (negative) 4 degrees. It varies by variety, but this is an average."
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