Growers brace for freezing temperatures - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Growers brace for freezing temperatures

The cold could impact growers (Source:WALB) The cold could impact growers (Source:WALB)
Blueberries are at risk overnight (Source:WALB) Blueberries are at risk overnight (Source:WALB)
Mike Gonzalez, Pro Outdoor Owner (Source:WALB) Mike Gonzalez, Pro Outdoor Owner (Source:WALB)
Doyle Singleton is a farmer and agriculture consultant. (Source: WALB) Doyle Singleton is a farmer and agriculture consultant. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Forecast freezing temperatures in South Georgia have both amateur and professional growers scrambling to protect their crops overnight.   

This week's cold snap has the ability to kill off a significant portion of some Georgia crops, potentially raising prices for some products like blueberries. 

Flowers are blossoming and trees are beginning to bud, but the sights of Spring may soon be in peril.  

 "That green up period is coming," Pro Outdoor Owner Mike Gonzalez said. "Its just best to wait to start fertilizing lawns and planting your spring stuff." 

Gonzales said frost from a cold snap, like the one expected early Thursday, could hurt or kill plants put in the ground too earlier.  

"Just keep that stuff covered up and bring it inside if possible," Gonzalez said. "Make sure those sprinkler systems are still off, lines are drained." 

He adds that professional landscapers can help you do that.

The freeze is something extension agents said even those who make a living off the land should pay attention to, adding that pecan growers face a big risk. 

"Those buds. They get that cold burn on them and that tree has lost its ability to produce a crop for that year," extension agent Blake Crabtree said. 

And blueberry farmers are also doing all they can to protect their crop.

Experts predict freezing temperatures could create a 40 percent loss for blueberry farmers in the state.   

"If you do everything possible in your means, you don't have any doubts about not saving or saving or what ever," farmer Doyle Singleton said. 

So, tonight, Singleton plans on lighting hay on fire around his fields and flying planes overhead to contain the heat. He hopes to save his crop and his livelihood. 

Gonzales adds that some other weather events are effecting landscapers in Albany. January's storms have homeowners focusing more on clean up, rather than the services provided by landscapers. 

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