Eastern Carolina farmers take protective measures after freeze warning

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:09 PM EDT
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Spring arrived a little early in North Carolina this year but after hitting 80 degrees about three weeks ago, causing plants to bloom, farmers’ worst fears are coming true.

“I was liking February if we wouldn’t have this cold weather, but we knew it was coming and all,” said Butch White, owner of White’s Farm in Vanceboro

Temperatures in March have been unseasonably cool, and now, could drop below freezing overnight.

“I think it is always a concern for farmers. It’s definitely not something going into spring that you wanna have a hard freeze come over again because you’ve kinda been over that hump of the winter,” said NC State Arugiclutre, Brooke Veleny.

Farmers like White say they are taking preventative measures to try to save their crops from a potential freeze.

“I used row covers, and we can spray water over top of them,” said White.

Even though white says the reality is that some crops will be lost, he’s optimistic there won’t be too many.

“I hope not; if everything works good it shouldn’t be too awful bad, I mean just gonna have to stay up and watch everything. Hopefully, everything will work out,” said White.

White says the covers will remain on the strawberries overnight but as soon as temperatures stay above freezing again, the covers will come off. According to White, the ideal daytime temperature for strawberries is in the 70s.