Farmers Prepare for the Coming Cold Weather

By: David Coy Email
By: David Coy Email

SHENANDOAH COUNTY --Farmers in the Valley are getting ready for the colder temperatures, particularly fruit farmers. They used to burn hay, provide fans or heaters to keep crops and trees from freezing. One farmer said he can't do that anymore because of the cost.

A number of trees and seeds are starting bloom but that may not happen if it's anything like last year.

Carroll Ryan has been fruit farming for more than 60 years. He said he used to try and keep crops from freezing but it became too costly.

"There's not much you can do, except for going to church on Sunday and hoping for the best on Monday," said Ryan.

Harold Paugh has been growing his eight acre orchard for 23 years. He said he isn't too worried about the likely frost and freeze that may come.

"At this point, I just don't feel...my gut feeling is we're not gonna lose enough to hurt us," said Paugh.

Paugh said he's willing to take the chance and see what happens. He thinks a good freeze might be good.

"Part of the fruit on the trees would freeze it would help thin them out...we won't see a lot on the trees we won't have to take a lot off. It might save us on labor," said Paugh.

In the past, Paugh did do some freeze prevention.

"We have put out barrels and put wood in the barrels and went out about 2 o'clock in the morning. Watch the temperature and set it on fire but I don't know if that helps," said Paugh.

Farmers hope that this year's spring won't be like last year's.

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