Late season frost puts stress on upstate farmers

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PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A late Spring frost is causing some farmers to start some of their harvests all over again, just weeks before the season is set to kick off. It puts stress on local farmer’s markets to try and meet the demand when there’s not enough supply.

The Happy Berry Farm sells blackberries, blueberries, grapes, and more. Their season typically runs from June first through September.

Owner Walker Miller said last week’s late-season frost killed about 30-percent of his crops.

“This is the latest that we’ve ever experienced this, April 22nd,” Miller said. “Prior to that we had one, onApril 19th. But usually most of our frosts are the first couple of weeks in April.”

He said it’s still too soon to say just how big an impact the frost might have.

“I have not the faintest idea on how to put an estimate on this,” Miller said.

Now he just hopes new buds will grow.

“Of course the name of the game here is being able to sustain yourself from year to year,” Miller said.

Rodney Morton is the co-owner of Mile Creek Farmer’s Market and farm.

He said he’s feeling the hit from the frost as well.

“We had about two thousand squash plants that we started. One-thousand zucchini plants,” Morton said. “I was trying to start early to have some of them come early, but it didn’t work out. The frost, it got all hit.”

He said that’s the business of farming, ut when supply doesn’t meet the demand he’s forced to outsource.

“We’ve got a couple of farmers that kind’ve like backs us up when stuff like that happens we can go to and get stuff to help meet the demand here at the store.”

To learn more about Happy Berry farm, click here.

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