‘This is the worst I’ve seen it:’ Daffodil farmers face severe crop damage from harsh winter

'This is the worst I've seen it:' Daffodil farmers face severe crop damage from harsh winter

WATCH: Spring may be just around the corner, but unusually cold temperatures this month have put a halt the yearly harvest of daffodils. Ceilidh Millar reports.

Flowering daffodils are one of the first signs spring is near.

“This is a beautiful flower, ready to pick, but it has to wait,” said Ryan Vantreight of Longview Farms, while holding the stem of a yellow daffodil.

What’s holding up the harvest is actually the ground, which remains frozen.

“In my time here in the last 15 years this is the worst I’ve seen it,” said Vantreight.

Unusually cold temperatures, mixed with melting ice and snow have caused daffodil buds to droop and stems to freeze, putting a halt on their yearly harvest at Longview Farms.

“It’s not until it really thaws out completely until we can actually see what the damage has been,” said Vantreight.

They’ve planned to pick five million blossoms this season but now will have to wait until the crops thaw to assess the damage.

And depending on the severity of the frostbite, it could mean a loss in the thousands.

“There are so many things riding on this, all the time,” said Vantreight, gesturing to the daffodil fields lining him.

And it’s not just the farmers eager for a warm up, it’s hundreds of pickers who are waiting at the sidelines.

“This is the first time this has ever hit us after all these years, so this is all new to us,” said Alex Chapell, who is the field supervisor at Longview Farms.

According to Environment Canada, it was the second coldest February on record in Greater Victoria. And while farming isn’t an easy business, unpredictable weather is its ultimate boss.

“Our organic vegetables, cabbages are frozen solid. There are leeks that should be able to be harvested. We don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Vantreight.

For now, all they can do it hope and wait for warmer days ahead.

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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