ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – The unseasonably warm weather is taking its toll on some Upstate farms. It’s forcing fruit farmers to work harder this winter to protect their crops and adjust with changing temperatures.
The unusually warm temperatures are keeping farmer Brett Edelen on his toes at Berry Acres Farm in Anderson. For the last couple of weeks, the farm has been spending more money and energy on making sure their crops stay warm on colder nights and cool on warmer days like Monday.
“I check the weather about , 6 times a day, and we just pray,” Edelen said. ”It costs a lot of money to do that, but it is something you have to do to protect your income.”
For their bigger crops, like strawberries, spring has already sprung. They’re producing fruit and blooming weeks earlier than usual.
Right now, Edelen says he’s not worried about their yields. He believes they could produce well all spring. He says he’s more concerned with his peach and blueberry crops, and is keeping a close eye on their condition.
“They’re already budding out a little bit, producing that flower to be pollinated to produce the fruit and everything, which we are about four weeks early on those things already happening,” he added. “Hopefully, it will help prevent that from being spoiled fruit.”
Berry Acres farm is hoping for some slightly cooler weeks ahead and they’re still working hard toward a successful spring, when they open their doors for the season.
Eden said, ”We love seeing people out here at our farm, enjoying our beautiful place, so they can enjoy it too. That is what it is all about.”
Typically, Berry Acres opens their farm for pick-you-own strawberries in mid-April. This year the weather could push them toward a March opening day. The farm is posting updates on their status on their Facebook.
Berry Acres Farm is holding their annual Strawberry Festival on schedule April 29th.