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US (TX): Farmer couple cleans up debris after last week's winds

Farms are still cleaning up and rebuilding from last week’s high winds in the South Plains. R&R Farms, located in West Texas, is one of the many produce farms that sustained damage. Ray and Rhonda Lowry, co-owners of R&R Farms, say the high winds were detrimental to their strawberries and have delayed their growth about two weeks. Their two massive high tunnels, which house the strawberries, collapsed one right after the other, leaving the couple to come up with another way to save some plants and make way for new ones to grow.

“We put little tunnels on top of them to keep them warm in the freezes during the last couple of nights. We’ve taken the covers off to the let the sun get to them. We have a few extra strawberry plants left in the barn growing room. We’ll put those out to replace the ones that were damaged. So, we’ll have around 1,300 hundred strawberry plants,” said Ray Lowry, who is also the president of the West Texas Growers and Producers Association. “We should have strawberries at the opening of the farmer’s market at the end of the month,” he added.
Low tunnels will help keep the moisture in and keep the roots warm during the cold nights, added Rhonda. She said they’re different from greenhouses because greenhouses have electricity.

They are very busy growers, providing to four different farmers markets in West Texas as well as some bakers and restaurants, but they say they’re happy they’ve been in contact with their customers and have talked about the slight delay.

The strong winds were surprising for Rhonda, the long-time farmer, too. “This is probably one of the strangest winds--- I grew up in Lubbock-- and we have high winds, but nothing that has been sustained like this for over 16 hours. Of course, we don’t know what happened and what landed on the farm.”

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