Farmers prepare for overnight temperatures - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Farmers prepare for overnight temperatures

The cold weather has farmers worries about their crops. (Source: WALB) The cold weather has farmers worries about their crops. (Source: WALB)
Doyle Singleton is a farmer and agriculture consultant. (Source: WALB) Doyle Singleton is a farmer and agriculture consultant. (Source: WALB)
Some farmers are setting up hay bales around the fields. (Source: WALB) Some farmers are setting up hay bales around the fields. (Source: WALB)
The farmers sprayed the crops with fertilizer. (Source: WALB) The farmers sprayed the crops with fertilizer. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
CAMILLA, GA (WALB) -

If temperatures drop to as low as forecast, you could be paying more for fresh blueberries in the coming months. 

That's according to the chair of the Georgia blueberry commission. He said overall blueberry farmers could see a 40 percent loss because of the freezing temperatures. 

All day Wednesday farmers were scrambling.

"It's the middle of March and everyone's getting ready to get up and go," said Doyle Singleton. 

Singleton is a farmer and agriculture consultant. On Wednesday he worked on a blueberry farm in Camilla. 

He said it's this time of year when blueberries and sweet corn farmers are getting ready for harvest.

Typically the average high is 72 degrees and the he low is 46.

Wednesday night WALB First Alert meteorologists predict we'll see temperatures 15 degrees below that.

If crops see frost, they could be gone for good this season. 

"If it's killed it's going to really take a toll on the economy around here," said Singleton.

Singleton said he's most worried about the blueberries and corn. He's been spraying them with fertilizers to give them more protein, in hopes it will help the crops withstand the cold.

"It's just unbelievable what people will lose," said Singleton.

With fear of what he and his growers could lose, Doyle is trying mechanisms you don't see often; starting with old hay. 

The idea is to take bales of hay and spread them out all around the blueberry field. 

Then farmers are going to light them on fire and fly their planes around the fields, pushing the heat towards the crop. 

"What we're trying to do is get enough bales around sweet corn and blueberry fields to make a difference and possible save some of them," said Singleton.

Singleton said he doesn't know if it will work, but he has nothing to lose in trying. For him and his growers, their crops are their way of life. 

"We have tried a little bit of everything. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't," Singleton sighed. "That's about all you can say about it."

At about 4 in the morning on Thursday is when farmers plan to light the hay, hoping the heat will save the blueberries.

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