Farmers prepare for late season freeze

- Farmers all have their own way of dealing with cold temperatures. Some use a tarp, while others actually use the freezing temperatures to make ice. No matter the method the goal among all farmers remains the same.

Farmers like Robb Thorstenson turned a normally green field into one giant blanket. It was a race against the clock before the North Carolina sun went down.

"These things can sneak up on you and cause a lot of damage," said Thorstenson.
 
Full grown strawberry plants are no match for potentially cold temperatures.

"All the blossoms you see out there, if we let it freeze they will all die and we will lose thousands and thousands of blooms," said Thorstenson.

It's a loss which could mean a big hit a farmers bottom line.

"We would lose about $10,000 an acre," said Thorstenson.

That type of damage would be a worst case scenario that could become all too real as strawberry plants are about two weeks ahead of schedule.

"It's very strange. After such a warm winter and everything else it's strange to be pulling covers on this late in the season," said Thorstenson.

But not all farmers are relying on covers. Andy Anderson was using the cold weather to his advantage. He planned to spray thousands of plants with water.

"I will lose some strawberries when they get water on them, but they will protect any future crop by creating an ice shield over the top of the plant," said Anderson.

The goal of all farmers is to save the strawberry blossoms. With spring in full effect, farmer like Andy Anderson hope this weekend is the last time he will be having a long night.

"The berries are starting to produce now so anytime I have to turn on the overhead I know I'm going to lose some," said Anderson.

With strawberry season slightly ahead of schedule, both farms FOX 46 spoke with are expected to open their picking season next week. That could all change if a freeze damages the strawberry plants.

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