Possible late spring frost could adversely affect strawberry harvest | WFRV Local 5

(WFRV) – Growing strawberries is a risky business because farmers have to invest a lot of money before they see a return on that investment.

Russell J. Allen, co-owner of Allenville Sweet Corn Allens, said, “You’ve invested about $ 5,000 an acre and you have no return for a year and two months.”

The Allens have ten acres of strawberries planted for this season.

“So one of the problems with freezing is if you have years that have been in the ground and you’re ready to produce and you lose that production, you lose roughly $ 5,000 an acre plus everything. the extra money you have in them, ”Allen said.

Because farmers have to plant their strawberry crops 14 months before they are picked, it puts a lot of money into a risky crop that could die out due to climate change.

“I would probably lose a potential of maybe $ 100,000 in gross income,” Allen said.

At Steven’s Point, berry growers are proactively trying to save their crops through their irrigation systems.

Chet Skippy, of Chet’s Blueberry Farm, said, “What is going on, it will completely cover them with ice and isolate them, but you have to continue irrigation until all the ice is gone.”

Using ice to save crops from a late frost seems backward, but it has saved countless crops from ruin.

In Oshkosh, at Allen Farm, they hope the lakes surrounding their property will help keep their strawberries alive without any intervention.

“I could burn bails. I’m not going to do it. I’m too old to fight any longer, ”Allen.

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