Spring frost may affect strawberry, other fruit crops

MILLSTADT, IL (KTVI) – Lingering cold could destroy strawberry and other crops.   The long winter left may plants two to three weeks behind schedule and today’s dip in temperatures isn’t helping.

It’s going to cost farmers more money to harvest some of their most popular crops. Many times that cost gets passed on to the consumer.  Mother Nature also has an impact on the market — many stock prices rise and fall along with crops.

But farmers are taking precautions because when the temperature gets around 32 degrees, the crops are in danger.

They said because the flowers, which becomes the berries, are low to the ground they are more vulnerable to the cold weather than other fruits.

Overnight Monday farmers were dousing the strawberry plants at Eckert’s  Farm with water.

“The freezing of the water actually creates some heat that helps keep the plants from being damaged,” Chris Eckert said.

If the strawberry crops are damaged it could mean less access to locally grown strawberries in Illinois and Missouri.

“We are trying to protect them,” Eckert said.

The farmers will continue to use irrigation until the morning weather warms.

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