Summer produce season needs weather to cooperate

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JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Summer produce season is coming fast, but only if the weather cooperates.

Three inches of rain was the magic number.  Anything over that would have caused major crop damage, according to Jasper farmer Garry Rowland.

“So we just kinda dodged a bullet and everything worked out pretty good,” Rowland says.

Just one week behind in corn planting, Rowland says the ground is drying out and he should be able to finish planting 150 acres without any problems.

Rowland says it’s the cooler temperatures that have cost farmers like him quite a bit of money.

“We’re starting to get some green grass now. We just haven’t had enough warms days and nights,” said Rowland.

Without grass, Rowland has spent $3,500 a week on hay for his livestock to eat over the last month

“Luckily, cattle prices are at a record high,” he said.

Meanwhile some of popular fruits, like berries and peaches, will either be delayed or in short supply at the farmers market starting out in May.

“The freeze we had a week and a half ago it will effected the peach crop toward Cullman County I’m sure they saw significant damage,” Rowland said.

No official date has been set for the opening of Walker County’s farmer’s market, but it’s usually sometime in mid-May.

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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