Hail puts holes in Ashburn farmer’s crop covers

Turner Co. Hail Damage

ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - Rusty Gravitt at Gravitt Produce said his main concern after Monday’s hail storms is to make sure weeds don’t come in and destroy crops.

“It was some golf ball size,” said Gravitt.

Monday’s hail storms were only five minutes but Gravitt said the effects could be long term

“It beat the plastic up pretty rough and our biggest concern going forward is weeds coming through the plastic now cause there’s holes just all in it,” explained Gravitt.

Farmers just laid the plastic down last week. The plastic barrier protects Gravitt’s watermelon crop. The golf ball-sized ice hit all three of his fields, which comes to about 60 acres. The crops are now at risk for weeds.

“There really ain’t no fixing the plastic, you just gone have to go with it this year and hope for the best. Like I said, we can come in manually, put a little extra dirt to it,” said Gravitt.

Gravitt said rain washed the dirt off the edges of the plastic that holds the plastic down. The plastic heats the ground up, giving it a few heat elements.

“Another thing is the wind, if it gets real strong winds, with these holes in the top, it could potentially, the wind can get up under there and rip it even more,” said Gravitt.

Gravitt said that eventually they’ll go out and put some dirt on the edges of the plastic rows to make sure that the wind doesn’t blow them up and potentially destroy their crops. He said they’ll plant their seeds in about two weeks.

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