Clean up begins after rain damages strawberries -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Clean up begins after rain damages strawberries

Trey Hart, Ochlockonee Ridge Farms Trey Hart, Ochlockonee Ridge Farms
Good Strawberries Good Strawberries
Damaged Strawberries Damaged Strawberries

Our recent heavy rain couldn't come at a worse time for South Georgia strawberry growers.

It was the first day of clean up at Ochlockonee Ridge Farms after Friday's torrential rains which damaged nearly a third of the farm's ripe strawberries. 

Last week's rain left ripe strawberries bruised at the Ochlockonee Ridge Farms just outside Moultrie. Pickers only picked three days last week, and they've been working all day today to remove the damaged berries from the farm.  

"Generally I try and pick the strawberry plants every other day, so that has caused the fruit to over ripen," said Trey Hart.  

Hart says the clean-up has been a hassle.  

"If I don't go through and take care of these bad berries the field will deteriorate and it'll become such a mess that no one will want to be out there," said Hart.  

The damaged berries aren't going to waste. They're being fed to cows on the farm. Hart says leaving damaged berries in the fields can cause problems.  

"I have to get them out of the field, if we leave them either the plants will quit bearing or will have so much disease and such a mess. No one wants to come out here and look at everything they're picking," said Hart.  

Shiny red strawberries are the good ones to be sold to consumers. Hart says dry weather is the best kind of weather to grow strawberries in.

He expects normal picking to return at his farm tomorrow afternoon. Strawberry harvesting started at the beginning of March and ends in early June.

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