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Cold could hurt crops in North Florida

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Updated: 1/08 10:27 am
HASTINGS, Fla. -- The cold weather is bringing big concerns to North Florida.

A freeze like the one expected Monday and Tuesday could cost farmers time and money.

Farmers said if the temperatures stay in the 20s long enough, crops like potatoes could be damaged.

"For us, the cold weather is extremely unusual to get into the low 20's," said farmer Danny Johns.

Johns said their fall crop of potatoes are close to the surface of the dirt, meaning they have only a small protective barrier from the freezing air.

"So it depends how cold it gets and how deep it freezes. It could affect the top layer of potatoes," said Johns.

Johns said his crops could see damage if it's below freezing for more than five hours, and depending on the damage, it could cost him $3,000 an acre.

He said it’s not just potatoes – other crops, like cabbage, could be sensitive to the cold, too.

"The cabbage crop, in the low 20s, can be affected also so it can burn the top leaves," said Johns.

Farmers are preparing their crops before the freezing air gets here by covering them with row covers, or putting an extra layer of dirt over them.
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