Strawberry farmer preps for cold
POSTED: Sunday, January 5, 2014 - 11:19pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 5, 2014 - 11:19pm
INDEPENDENCE,LA (NBC33) — "Naturally you don't want to see this, but I mean there is nothing we can do. So, we just have to try to put another layer," Anthony Baglio, strawberry farmer in Independence, Louisiana, said.
Anthony Baglio and his crew of helpers spent Sunday afternoon adding extra cover to Baglio's strawberry bushes. The goal is to protect the strawberries and blossoms from the bitter cold coming to South Louisiana.
"If it get's too cold it's going to kill the blooms. It could damage the fruit that's already out, and that's going to delay production maybe a month to six weeks if we can't protect them," Baglio explained.
Baglio said he's kept his crops covered with one layer of protection off and on throughout December, because of cold weather.
Now he's worried with temperatures set to dip below freezing one layer of cover won't be enough.
“To cover one layer would probably protect them up to around 25 degrees,” Baglio described. “They're [meteorologist] speaking about the low twenties maybe teens, so we're hoping putting a second layer might protect the blooms and the berries.”
Baglio said keeping the bushes covered caused some of his crop to start blooming early.
"Berries need warm weather, and it's been too cold. The cover keeps them warm and that's why we have berries now. Normally, you wouldn't have berries this time of the year in Louisiana; maybe in Florida, but not here," Baglio said. Since, we've got the cover we started picking berries in maybe late November early December. We started to pick a few.”
"We're hoping that two layers is going to protect them, but when you get that cold it's risky," Baglio said.
For now all Baglio and his family can do is watch his field, and wait for the cold weather to clear up.
"So we need to be checking to make sure the paper stays on top of the bushes," Baglio said.