This week's big chill could be trouble for area farmers

- Snow on Sunday and freezing temperatures in our area are sending farmers scrambling to save their crops. Especially after unseasonably warm temperatures. Some fruits have already started to bloom.

FOX 46 Charlotte spoke with a strawberry farmer in south Charlotte who said the weather has caused the most damaging season he has ever seen.

Residents have seen a rollercoaster of severe weather. One day it’s hot, the next day it may snow, and that’s causing a nightmare for some local farmers.

“It’s been a difficult winter for strawberry growers,” Kevin Hall owner of Hall Family Farms said.

A winter that felt like spring made their strawberries bloom early.

“And then when we get the cold snaps, frost and freeze those blooms get killed,” Hall explained.

Hall has watched buds pop out and buds die.  

“I am sick to my stomach,” he said.

Now, he is trying to protect the plants with a cover.

“We try to put the covers on only when necessary,” Hall explained.

The covers add four degrees of warmth, but the cover also means less sunlight and pollinators can reach the plants.

“We should be seeing the birds and the bees but they can’t get to the plant,” he said.

But as harsh as this cold front is, Hall said a fast summer could only make it worse.

“We can protect against cold, but there is nothing we can do to protect against heat,” Hall said.

The cold temperatures are calling for double protection – that’s why Hall Family Farms plans to put a second cover on their field come Wednesday. They are hoping to open in April. 

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