Frost damage to crops leaves bitter taste in farmers' mouths

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Two nights of tumbling temperatures are crippling some local farmers' crops. (WPVI)

Two nights of tumbling temperatures are crippling some of farmer David Duffield's Sweet Charlie strawberries.

"I would believe that 50-60 percent at this point are damaged, maybe a little bit more," said Duffield. "The other stages may not be hurt at all because they're not even blooming."

The same can be said for some of the peach trees.

"This is the fear of losing what we worked so hard to take care of," said Duffield.

"As the temperature goes below 20s, the loss is pretty substantial," said Dr. Hemant Gohill, County Agriculture Agent.

Dr. Gohill says area farmers are reporting some crop damage because of the unseasonable cold, but says it's still too early to tell how severe.

Still, last month's random warm up didn't help.

"The flowers started pushing much earlier than they normally would, and as result you have a cold temperature snap and the flowers are opened - they tend to get damaged," said Dr. Gohill.

"It will be thousands of dollars for us," Duffield says regarding the cost of damages.

Fortunately Duffield grows a variety of vegetable and fruits, some of which aren't even in bloom, meaning just a portion of the crop is impacted by the roller coaster weather.

He tells us some of the strawberries can be salvaged.

"We have some strawberries along in here, and these yellow flowers, they should be fine as long as they make it through the next cold spell," said Duffield.

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