Cold Snap Threatens Tennessee Strawberry Crops

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Cold Snap Threatens Tennessee Strawberry Crops

CREATED Apr 16, 2014

by Emily Luxen

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The frigid temperatures have farmers across the middle Tennessee scrambling to protect their crops.

The timing is especially bad for strawberries, which would normally be harvested in the next few weeks. Farmers said the cold snap this late in April will likely cause delays and decreased production.

At H&S Farms in Clarksville, Robin and Laura Sleigh said this winter has been one of the worst they have ever experienced.

"We've had cold weather before," said Laura Sleigh."It has been a long time since it has been this close to us opening."

The Sleighs have been working long hours to cover their six acres of strawberries with canvas tarps.

"It's a lot of manual labor," said Sleigh."We call our friends and family to help."

Sleigh said the canvas can help keep the plants warmer, but it can also break and bruise them.

"It's going to kill some of them.  You can't replace them."

Sleigh said it's sad to see all the crops covered up, but she hopes they are prepared for the worst.

"You can't control the weather," said Sleigh. "You've just got to go with it. Just pray for the best."

H&S Farms normally opens the end of April so people can come and pick the strawberries.  However, Sleigh said that will likely be delayed by at least two weeks.  She asks that anyone interested in picking strawberries call the farm ahead of time to ensure it is open.

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