Local Growers Concerned About Possible Frost - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/08/03 - Smith County

Local Growers Concerned About Possible Frost

"I'm pretty worried because you know I have a lot at stake here, but Daddy's always told me to worry about the things you can change instead of the things you can't change."

He has experience. Darren Rozell is like a father to his peach trees -- 4,000 of them with healthy and fragile young buds.

"A light frost they could probably tolerate. But a good heavy frost, what they call a "killing frost" would get them," he says.

They're moist and green on the inside.  It's a world away from Darren's other orchard.

"They survived the hail, then the freeze got them."

In the valley, cold air pools. And it kills.  The tiny buds are just husks now, blown by the wind.

"It's not lime green. When you bust it open, the inside has turned black."

The black means he's in the red. At his smallest orchard, it cost him a lot of money.

"There's about 400 trees, so about a $30,000 loss in this field.  It gives you a knot in your stomach. You and your family are kind of counting on it."

He's tried burning smudge pots, but it gives just a few degrees of protection. All he really can do is just watch and wait... and pray.

"I guess I'll get up a few times in the middle of the night and check the temperature."

He's hoping they make it through a cold spring night.

"I don't want to think about it," he says.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. 

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