Overnight cold weather potentially harmful for blueberries - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Overnight cold weather potentially harmful for blueberries

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Blue Willow Farms in Toney had more than 3-thousand blueberry plants. Blue Willow Farms in Toney had more than 3-thousand blueberry plants.
TONEY, AL (WAFF) -

Farmers were forced to take action and cover entire fields to try and salvage crops during a temperature dip below thirty degrees. Farmers said if crops like blueberries were in bloom, the overnight deep freeze could really hurt.

Blue Willow Farms in Toney had more than 3-thousand blueberry plants. Farmer Clayton Nave spent the afternoon looking at his berries. He grows five different kinds of blueberries, and knows all too well about the weather hurting his bottom line.

Two years ago, he lost nearly everything when the weather didn't cooperate. He did a lot of praying and hoping freezing temperatures don't hit again when all of his plants are in full bloom.

"If we hit a 30 degree, 31, 32 we're kind of okay, but if it gets around 26, 25, it is going to get the blooms and we'll have a reduced production," said Nave.

It might sound strange, but some blueberry farmers said the cold weather isn't so bad for the season. Blue Willow Farms said their crops are looking like they could be the best in years. A few years ago, they lost everything because of adverse weather conditions. Nave said he specifically picked out five different kinds of berries that started blooming in mid-April to avoid the potential cold snap. He said the gamble looked like it could pay off as his farm opens for picking in June.

"Our buds are starting to sprout out, but the blooms not here yet," said Nave. "The bloom is what actually produces, it's a small white bloom, that's what produces the blueberries."

Blue Willow Farms said if the cold weather does get below freezing and stays there a few days, it could mean trouble. They said they have too much land to cover every plant, but that's part of the risk of being a farmer.

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