Farmers Concerned About Freezing Weather Killing Crops

Lexington, SC (WLTX) - With the below freezing temperatures Tuesday night, a lot of farmers are concerned about the life of their crops; specifically peaches and strawberries.

"We got 11 acres of strawberries here and this will be our 19th crop," said Mike Kiesler.

South Carolina ranks near the top nationally in several categories of fruit and vegetable peaches and strawberries.

Farmers like Kiesler at the James Sease Farm in Lexington have been working all day to protect his crop.

"Fortunately with strawberries we have row covers that we can apply over the plants and it's a fiber type material and it will trap the heat during the daylight hours."

Kiesler says the cover will protect the plants for temperatures as low as about 29 degrees.

As a former peach farmer he says that's not the case for peach crops.

"It's sort of a crap shoot really."

Peachtree's are in fields that go into hundreds of acres. The below freezing weather could kill most of them.

"Peach trees are a different situation because when they bloom or are in full bloom, that's the crop you have for that year. So it is even more critical for peaches because if you have a severe cold it could really affect your crop."

Fortunately for Kiesler he says even if a strawberry plant dies from the cold... it can grow back in the same season.

"With strawberries we are fortunate that even if something were to happen with some bloom, strawberries continue to bloom so we would have some more strawberries bloom and come on and create more berries."


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