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Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 11:30am

Crops And Cash Bloom Early At GA Farms

Strawberries and other crops are about a month ahead of schedule, signaling a boom year financially for Georgia farms.

Weather continues to be a concern as farmers worry about temperatures turning too cold or too hot ….too fast.

Thanks to the unseasonably warm weather this year, fruit crops like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are blooming 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule. That could bring farmers more profit because the season could last longer.

But only if a temperature spike in either direction doesn’t compromise the crop. Adam Pugh with the Rock Ranch explains:

“We don’t want it freezing, we certainly don’t want a hard frost, we want the mild temps for sure, b/c that will make us have berries for a lot longer, it could end up being a super year if it stays in spring weather. We expected this to be the kick off to the strawberry season, and in fact it’s actually the third week of the strawberry season instead of the first.”

Georgia crops aren’t the only things blooming early this year-- so is the cash flow from “agri-tourism”.

Farms are more encouraged to launch their spring fruit picking and tours for the public early as well.

Pugh says phones at the farm are busy:

“Gosh, people have been calling for a month to get out here and play, it’s been so pretty, the zip line the train rides, the pony rides, tiny town, some of the fun things we have for families to do, they could have been open a lot sooner, so I hope when they do open this weekend and for future events, I hope folks are just chomping at the bit to get out here.”

Rock Ranch’s Strawberry Festival kicks off this weekend, but the strawberries have been in season for over 3 weeks.

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