Heartland orchard taking precautions to protect crops

Orchards taking precautions

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The blast of cold weather could have a big impact on area farms and orchards.

Anytime you get down to freezing temperatures or below at this stage of development, there’s always a concern for damage to crops.

Jeff Flamm, owner of Flamm Orchards, said they don’t typically worry about losing crops to the cold this late in April, but they know what to do when it happens.

Their biggest concern; however, 10 acres of strawberries.

Flamm said without protection there is a very good chance that they will lose a great deal of the strawberries.

So to protect their crop, they blanket the plants with cloth covers, but that’s not all.

“We have covers on all the plants and we’re going to try to pump water and build a layer of ice over the top of that for some insulation,” said Flamm.

Flamm said that double layer of protection will help, but they also need the weather to cooperate.

“There’s a lot of variables involved, not only temperatures but wind and other conditions and a lot of times one or two degrees is a difference between having a crop or not having one,” Flamm said.

The fruit trees at the Union County orchard are starting to bloom and could be also damaged by the cold.

“With our peaches and apples, we’re not doing anything, there’s not much that you can do, it’s just too big of an area to try to do anything with,” said Flamm.

So, Flamm said he and his crew will their best to protect what they can.

“We’ll be spending the night out here with them tonight and when that temperature gets down to 33-34 degrees, we’ll probably turn the water on,” Flamm said.

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