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US (NC): Strawberry farmers rush to save crops

In order to protect their strawberry crops from freezing temperatures in North Carolina, Triangle-area strawberry growers are using sprinklers and tarps in an attempt to save their crops.

"The plant's pretty beat up with the covers flopping on them," said farm owner, Mark Lyon, who checked on the berries before dawn. "For two days, the covers have beaten them and so the plants looks pretty battered. They should recover from that. It's not a pretty sight. It's not what I want to see this time of year."

Lyon said he already lost about 25 percent of his strawberries. The mild winter led strawberries to grow earlier than normal.

"The real problem was how early the berries started blooming this year," he said.

Lyon said peaches and blueberries are also taking a hit. Which could turn out to be detrimental for farmers who rely on crops for their livelihood.

"I may not make money," Lyon said. "This might be just a break-even year. It's hard to tell at this point. You have good years. You have bad years. This will probably be a bad year."


Publication date: 3/17/2017



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