North Carolina farms concerned about impending return to cold weather

Wet, warm weather is creating problems for local farmers, and the cold snap expected next week could be devastating for some crops. (Photo: WLOS)

HENDERSONVILLE, NC (WWAY/AP) — Farmers in North Carolina are worried about the current spell of warm and wet weather and an impending return to winter-like temperatures next week.

WLOS in Asheville reports Jason Blackwell of Rainbow Ridge Orchards says apple trees started waking up about a week early due to warmer temperatures. Blackwell said he expects the apples to make it through the cold weather forecast for the beginning of March, but he’s more concerned about the peach crop.

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Blackwell said peach trees are in greater danger next week, depending on how much more they bloom. He said either they could be wiped out or they survive if the blooms are tighter.

Also, Blackwell said, the blooming plum trees may not survive the weather.

In Wilmington, temperatures fell below normal only 11 out of 28 days in February. While temperatures have stay quite mild for this time of the year, it’s been relatively dry. Rainfall totals are running nearly 2.5 inches below average.

The next cold snap will impact the coast as well which means farms across the state are watching the weather extra closely.

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