NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One Rutherford County farmer is keeping a close watch on the forecast this weekend, as below freezing temperatures could impact his strawberry crop.
A freeze warning is in effect for Rutherford County Saturday morning. At Batey Farms, three acres of strawberries are covered up in an effort to protect the plants from the cold.
"What that does is it prevents the frost from settling down on top of the plants," said Brandon Whitt, Owner and Operator of Batey Farms. "With that cover, that typically protects them down to 28 degrees. If it gets lower than that, we could see very significant damage."
An underground irrigation system will also be used to warm the soil and help protect the strawberries.
Whitt said the timing of the cold snap is not ideal. The farm is currently in the middle of strawberry production.
"We are approaching the 50 yard line and are heading for our end zone," said Whitt. "We need this weather to stay away so we don't have a turnover."
With the help of the proper precautions, he was hopeful the strawberries would survive.
Batey Farms is also well-known for allowing members of the public to pick their own strawberries at the farm each year. Due to COVID-19, that policy changed this year. In an effort to protect customers and staff, and follow social distancing guidelines, all strawberries have to be ordered online and picked up curbside.
"I can't thank our customers enough for coming out and supporting us," aid Whitt.
For more information about ordering strawberries visit: https://bateyfarms.com/strawberries/