Local News

Farmers concerned about crops as cooler temps move in for the weekend

Posted March 1, 2018 6:42 p.m. EST

The unusually cold January followed by many days of spring-like weather in February may have caused some plants to bloom too soon.

Ben Williams and his family have been growing peaches in Moore County for more than 30 years. They have thousands of trees spread out over nearly 40 acres.

Right now, their trees are blooming like it is mid-March, but if the cold weather returns, the plants are in jeopardy.

To help, they have installed four giant windmills to keep warmer air running over the trees in the event of a frost.

Williams said right now he believes his trees would survive a light frost, but that a hard freeze could wipe them out.

"Before it evolves into a flower, it's got that shell to protect it from frost and stuff," he said. "But these up here (what?), if it gets below 30, 32 degrees. They're done."

Peaches aren't the only crops that could be in danger if there is a frost or below-freezing temperatures. Strawberries could take a beating in the cold weather.

During cold a snap, water is sprayed over the crop to form an ice shell to protect the plant from the cold.