Locally, statewide fruits fare well despite cold snap

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2017

Two weeks after a cold snap that threatened the peach, blueberry and strawberry crops in Alabama, producers say they fared well.

Earlier this month, North Alabama temperatures dipped into the low 20s and Central and South Alabama dropped below 30, and producers and others throughout the ag community were concerned about the fate of the fruits.

Locally, Glenene Edmondson of Edmondson Farm was worried about her early flourishing strawberry crop.

Luckily, the crops came through OK, but they had to give the patch time to warm back up so the berries would turn again. They now have berries available in flats, half flats, quarts and pints.

Other berry growers experience similar results, according to the Alabama Extension Service.

Mike Reeves, extension coordinator in Morgan County, said in a statewide press release that berry farms around the state are hoping to have berries for sale barring any other cold weather events.

Reeves said strawberries under row covers in the coldest areas lost open blooms, while warmer areas had no damage.

Gary Gray, a commercial horticulture agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, said Wednesday there is still potential for a good peach crop.

“The earliest blooming varieties, which had passed petal fall and had exposed fruit, were most affected by the freezing temperatures,” Gray said. “Thankfully many varieties are still in early bloom, or have yet to bloom and have minimal to no damage.”