The acting Agriculture Director Matt Boatright says record highs and lows are the culprit behind the devastating damage to several of the state’s crops. Director Matt Boatright says the damage is so severe because those record temps hit back to back. He says the cold spell that is currently damaging crops was set up by the warmest two weeks in Missouri history from Mar 21 to Apr 23. He says that means crops began to emerge and bud extra early.

The next six days were then the coldest six days in state history. Boatright says early reports show that the unprecedented weather pattern has led to projections of nearly a total loss of yield from the state’s grape and peach crops. He says wheat crops are facing a significant loss as well because damaged seeds are not expected to yield into full seeds. Boatright adds various forage crops such as alfafa and pasture crops have been set behind. He says officials are still working on a full assessment of damage.

AUDIO: Laura McNamara reports (:50 MP3)