On the morning of Wednesday, 4 October, many people awoke to find that overnight, Jack Frost had visited, and the frost was of course damaging to some tender spring growth especially across the Waikato where it would be a little more severe. On the morning of Thursday, 5 October an interviewee on the Radio New Zealand News mentioned that there had been a damaging frost last year 2022, at about the same time. The frost last year was quite damaging particularly to blueberries and other frost tender crops. The gentleman went on to say that these late frosts were correlated to ‘Climate Change’ or words to that effect.
Let us go back now to about 1970 when my neighbour Colin came in after a trip to Paeroa and he was a little excited when he asked, “What is wrong with your maize?” Well, we had no idea that there was anything wrong with the maize which was close to a metre in height. So, we hopped into the car with Colin and went to look. My father was much more experienced in these matters and while still a hundred and fifty metres away from this rather brown topped crop, he gave a short laugh and said, “There has been a frost.”
Maize is extremely frost tender and the tops were quite scorched although there was some later recovery. Had the maize been only 300mm high, it would have been wiped out and replanting would have been necessary. Now the punch line; that frost was in mid- December and to rub salt into the wound, in mid-January just after Christmas, there was yet another frost! That proves beyond doubt that my father discovered Climate Change long before Al Gore, or is it, ‘That there is nothing new under the sun.’
Caption: Malcolm Campbell.