Farmers across Florida fight for their livelihood during the freeze

Farmers across Florida fighting for their livelihoods during the freeze

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WTSP) -- Farmers across Florida are fighting for their livelihood against these cold temperatures, especially since some are still recovering from damage because of Hurricane Irma.

At Fancy Farms Inc., a strawberry farm in Plant City, workers picked all the ripe berries before the expected freeze.

“Right now we’re scrambling to pick the fields and clean all the red fruit off,” Farm Manager Dustin Grooms said.
 
Meanwhile, other workers prepared for nightfall. They tested their pumps and sprinklers. If temperatures dip below 32 degrees, they’ll need to turn them on. A layer of ice on the plants will insulate the blooms.
 
Fancy Farms hadn’t planted any seeds when Hurricane Irma hit, but it still cost them about $25,000 in debris removal.

They’re not alone. Citrus growers expected a comeback year but lost more than half their crop in the storm. Some have diversified by planting strawberries. They, along with those who grow only berries like Fancy Farms, are taking on mother nature again.
 
“This is life on the farm here,” Grooms said. “Everything is earned. Nothing’s given.”

If the forecast is correct, temperatures near Fancy Farms will be right around freezing Wednesday night and for the following two nights. 

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