Near-Freezing Temperatures a Concern for Farmers - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

Near-Freezing Temperatures a Concern for Farmers

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WZDX) - The near-freezing temperatures Tuesday night could mean disaster for local crops but some farmers in Limestone County are doing what they can to protect their investment.

"Right now we're still hopeful but we'll just have to wait and see," said Wes Isom, who operates Isom's Orchard in Limestone County.

Isom has operated his family's peach farm off Highway 72 for the last 30 years. He's keeping a close eye on the temperatures this time of year.

"When we get under 30 degrees, we can start having damage," said Isom.

Freezing temperatures have already damaged some of the 60 acres of peach tees at Isom's Orchard and now they are preparing for another round.

"The cold may not kill them but it could damage them enough to make them unmarketable," said Isom.

Just a few miles away, Stuart Sanderson with Henderson Farms is concerned about damage to his 1,100 acres of recently planted corn.

"The corn may get burnt back on the edges but it should start growing again once the temperatures start warming back up," said Sanderson.

That's if temperatures stay around freezing but what if they drop lower into the mid 20's?

"If we get that low to where we have a hard freeze, then it may be a situation where we will have to replant corn," said Sanderson.

While all Sanderson can do is wait, Isom will be working late into Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as he watches the temperatures fall. He plans to use a sprinkler system attached to some of the trees to help keep them warm.

"As the water turns into ice as energy, it's released and it actually elevates the temperature from there. We have to run the water until the ice starts to melt off the trees," said Isom.

But both farmers said weather like this is expected and it's just a part of the business they love.

"We just adjust and we adapt and we continue," said Sanderson.

Both farmers will be able to tell by Wednesday afternoon if their crops are damaged.

 

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