Cold temperatures cause problems for produce farmers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cold temperatures cause problems for produce farmers

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January 24, 2005

Lowndes County - When produce farmer Jerry Carter woke up to freezing temperatures Monday morning, he had one fear. "I figured the green crop was over with," said Carter.

And after a walk through his fields of collard, mustard, and turnip greens, he quickly realized he lost almost everything. "It's probably affected all of them now, probably a total loss here," said Carter.

Greens can handle freezing temperatures in moderation, but several nights of sustained temperatures below 30 degrees burns the leaves and stunts the plants' growth.

Now it's hard to find a single plant in Carter's field that hasn't been effected. "When you come out here on the mornings when its 20 degrees, the leaves are just flopped over like these," said Carter.

Instead of the bright green, fluffy leaves he had a month ago, the plants are now wilted and discolored. "It will turn them this blue looking color," said Carter.

But there's still an inkling of hope a few of Carter's collard plants. "If it warms back up, the collards will try to come back out but it stunts their growth so bad, you're gonna have a loss," said Carter.

A loss he hopes he can make up for when it comes time to plant the next round of produce in the spring.

posted at 4:25 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com