NJ farmers fight to save crops from unseasonably cold temperatures

New Jersey farmers fight to save their crops from unseasonably cold temperatures.

New Jersey farmers fight to save their crops from unseasonably cold temperatures. (4/7/16)

NEW EGYPT -
With unseasonably cold temperatures this spring, some of New Jersey’s farmers are doing everything they can to protect their crops from below-freezing temperatures.

Charlie Hallock owns Hallock’s U-Pick Farm in New Egypt. For the past three nights, he’s been spraying a layer of water over his strawberry plants for when temperatures drop into the low-20s.

“This makes a layer [of ice] over top of the plant and protects the plant and the buds from freezing,” Hallock says.

Down the road at Emery’s farm, farmers use a giant fan to keep the air moving at night. The fan can raise the temperature about three or four degrees, enough to keep John Marchese’s blueberries from freezing.

"The buds are starting to swell and open up and it leaves us in a vulnerable state,” Marchese says.

News 12 New Jersey was told of a local peach farm that lost nearly all its crops to the latest round of bitter cold temperatures.

With more freezing temperatures in the forecast, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will continue to allow farmers to conduct controlled open burning or use smudge pots to protect flowering crops from frost damage.

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