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Farmers prepare for cold weather


ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) -- It has been a roller-coaster ride of weather this winter with record setting warmth in Southeastern North Carolina just last week. But it's time to bundle up.

An arctic air mass is headed our way for the next couple days bringing with it the coldest temperatures so far this season. High temperatures in the 70s just last week will plummet to the 40s this week, and overnight lows will reach the 20s in some areas. It has some people worrying about more than a winter jacket.

Brock White, farm manager at Lewis Nursery and Farms in Rocky Point says the recent warm weather woke his blueberries up a little bit earlier than usual. He says he is prepared, though, to protect his fruit from the upcoming chilly weather.

His winter strawberries are covered by big canopies which act like a coat, keeping the strawberries warm.

"Basically what it does, by these tunnels being closed and the plants being covered by a cloth that has microscopic holes in it, it allows the entire day for the soil to soak up the heat from the sun."

The canopies trap heat from the sun, allowing the soil to warm. Overnight, the soil radiates this heat back to the plants. He says his plants are protecting from temperatures that even fall to the teens.

White is not worried about his strawberries, though he does expect to lose just a few blueberries. He says most of his plants will just simply go back to sleep during the cold weather.

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