Cold snap puts strawberry crops in jeopardy - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Cold snap puts strawberry crops in jeopardy

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

We've certainly been in an awkward weather pattern recently, haven't we? Warm week. Cold week. Warm week. Cold week.

Well, these awkward weather patterns aren't good for the folks at the Cottle Strawberry Farm.

Field manager Jennifer Jordan has been up until 3 a.m. putting up row covers on the 10-acre stretch of strawberries in an effort to protect the crop from Mother Nature's mood swing.

Right now, the plants are yellow, but if they are exposed to near-freezing temperatures then potential profits on the plants are deteriorated.

Working day in and day out to protect the fruit is an expected turn for the farm. January and February were mild, but Mother Nature has piled on the cold weather this month. The resulting blast of cold weather has delayed picking season by about two weeks.

"One flower takes 30 days to turn into a strawberry, so if you're in a cold snap -- let's just say a cold snap got us last night -- if we hadn't been out there protecting them, you've already knocked off 30, 45 days off your 60-day season," said Jordan. "It's critical we keep them covered."

The row covers are scheduled to come off on Friday and picking season starts this weekend in Columbia.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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