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Tue June 11, 2013
Piedmont Crops Get Brief Rain Reprieve
Strawberry plants in the Piedmont are drying out after almost a week-long bath.
Rhonda Ingram is the second generation to work the family business at Ingram’s Strawberry Farm in High Point. She says there’s no way to calculate how much harvest they’ve lost because of the recent rain. “When you get rain after rain after rain, you get puddles of the water under the fruit and it begins to make soft spots on the fruit," explains Ingram. "Now the good thing is we’ve had enough rain that’s washed most of those berries off the plant.” With her three daughters, husband, in-laws and four pickers, Ingram raises 77,000 strawberry plants on 6-acres. She says everyone is now working in the fields to get rid of rotting fruit and protect the new berries coming in. “When you have fruit or vegetables that spoil on the vine then you have molding. Well those are spores," says Ingram. "The spores will accumulate on the non-ripe fruit, so you just work one row at a time to remove that foul fruit.”
According to the National Weather Service, last Thursday Tropical Storm Andrea brought more than 3.5 inches of rain. Almost a third of it fell Monday, June 10th.
Jennifer Wall Jobe is a fourth generation farmer at the Beaver Creek Farms and Nursery. They grow vegetables including green beans, squash and corn and flowers on 130 acres in Rural Hall. She says the recent rain has been hardest on her flowers. “They like to dry out between waters," says Jobe. "Also the rain is causing some of the blooms to mold, which is causing disease.” But Jobe is optimistic her plants will survive the rains. “We have side waterways to alleviate some of the erosion. And a lot of our fields are grated so they drain and don’t hold an abundance of water.” The National Weather Service expects the next round of rain and storms in the Triad on Thursday, June 13.