Winter weather could bring delay on fruits and vegetables

Farmers faces delays on crops due to the winter storms aftermaths
Farmers faces delays on crops due to the winter storms aftermaths(wmbf)
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 6:44 AM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Grand Strand and Pee Dee have faced three winter storms in the month of January - bringing everything from freezing rain, ice and even snow to the area.

A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture states the back-to-back storms in the south, combined with streams of cooler air, could further delay a return to normalcy in agriculture. Famers are finding it harder to produce crops than in previous years.

“Cultivating the soil is the main issue. and getting the field ready for planting. We’ve had difficulty doing that because it has been so wet. And I am hoping it won’t delay the planting season,” said O’Niels Smalls, Founder and Director of Freewoods Farm.

The cold weather caused significant harm to citrus and other sensitive crops in the south and has also severely affected stock.

Smalls says he is trying to find ways to adjust the farm for the weather, but its pond is already filled with water - which means leftover water remains on the soil, drowning most of the crops.

“Some crops and some vegetables don’t need a lot of water and simply too much water can kill them,” he said.

According to the report in South Carolina, January temperatures have been cooler than average so far. The USDA said water moisture is also reportedly excessive due to recent storms and additional rainfall.

As a result, delays could be expected in bringing vegetables and fruits to your dinner table.

Vegetables that need to be planted just before spring starts like sweet peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes and many more won’t make it for harvest.

“It had made it difficult to get the soil ready for planting and of course this is the winter period,” said Smalls.

Smalls is asking for a helping hand from his community during the winter weather.

“We ask for volunteers to help us. We have ditches that must be fine-tuned and get some of the dirt out of the ditches so that the water can drain at the appropriate time,” he said.

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