Farmers scramble to protect their fruits from frost

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Farmers are scrambling to protect their fruits from frost. Supply stores like Red River Specialties are flooded.

"We have actually sold out of the product that we sell to protect against frost," said Cary Parrott.

That product is a spray. Many farmers like Ronny Wells, are coating their crops with it, to help contain moisture.

"There's no guarantee it's going to help but we do all we can so we can try to get all the sleep we can tonight," said Wells.

But, with so much money on the line, it'll likely be a restless night.

"It could have millions dollars of damage all over your northeast, southeast Texas," said Wells.

It also has a direct effect on you, the consumer. If any of our local crops are damaged or destroyed, you'll see prices go up on the grocery isle. The determining factor, of course, is the weather. If temps drop below freezing, Wells said spray may not protect his berries.

"Even if we get through tonight, you could have a hail storm that would take five minutes to wipe out a crop," explained Wells. "Until you get it harvested and sold, there's no guarantee for the farmer."

"Some guys are really worried," said Parrott. "This is a lot of their livelihood. If this crop fails, they're out for the season; they lost their livelihood."

It's a big gamble, not only for farmers, but our East Texas economy.

"This is going to be very crucial for your blueberry and blackberry production, peach production," said Wells. "Even tomato growers that are out here that covering tomatoes all over Jacksonville and Canton."

Farmers told us there is usually one last freeze before Easter. Farmers also told us their crops could be devastated even if temperatures do not drop below freezing. Temps staying in the low to mid-thirties for several hours through the night could also do great damage.