Farmers, berries escape damage overnight

By Jason Lanning , Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017, 10:19 AM EST

Farmers spent the overnight hours early Sunday and Monday closely watching their crops - along with the thermometer.

It appears the crops escaped being damaged by the cold weather.

Temperatures at Parksdale Farms in Plant City dipped to 33 degrees but there was no freeze.

Temperatures in the low 30s and an accompanying frost could damage or destroy the berries - costing a farmers a big financial hit. 

The big challenges with a freeze are first, making sure the water makes it to the fields so pumps and sprinklers need to be operational. The second challenge is the wind, which can cause less coverage of water on the fields creating large parts of fields where frost can creep in. 

Farmers use the water the encapsulate the berries and buds in frost, actually protecting them from the elements. 

Farmers at Parksdale Farms in Plant City said that conditions were not very windy Monday morning. 

Meanwhile, blueberry farmers in Pasco County spent the weekend doing much of the same with their crops. 

"We fired up the irrigation," said Jason Nadler at Nadler’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm in Hudson. "Made sure the computers were working, monitoring the temps correctly, make sure the sprinklers are working."