Crop prices rise as cold weather plagues East Texas farmers

(KYTX) -If you're ready for this cold weather roller coaster to end, you're not alone!

Farmers across the East Texas region are losing crops to these cold snaps, and that will end up costing you money too.

Come Saturday morning the Tyler farmer's market will be in full swing at the East Texas fairgrounds, but because of these last few cold snaps, including the one we're going through right now, what's on those tables might be a bit different than years past.

Tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peas, blueberries, plums, peaches, and pears. These are all the things Lois Hutson with the Lone Star Military Farmers is trying to grow this season, but it's not going as planned.

"It's been quite a lot cooler, the dirt has not had the opportunity to warm up for the seeds to really germinate and take off," she said.

This year's cold spring weather has thrown Hutson and other East Texas farmers for a loop and their crops aren't quite there yet.

"Squash should be trickling in just a little bit, but everybody's squash is about an inch long right now," Hutson said.

Some crops, aren't there at all.

"The last little cold snap we had, a lot of people lost their fruit blooms. One of my local farmers, he lost all his plums and all his peaches," she said.

That means, when those crops do come in, you'll have to pay more for them.

Hutson says, "They're going to be a little higher this year because so many people have lost theirs."

Exactly how much of an increase you'll pay depends entirely on the farmer and how much he or she charges.

Bob Brown has owned Bob Brown Plant Farm Inc. in New Summerfield for 37 years!

"We're standing in a house with periwinkle, and it takes warm weather!" Brown said. "We grow mostly annual plants, hanging baskets, and a lot of vegetable plants."

Most of his business comes in March, April and May.

"So we've got one more month, we've got a lot of catching up to do," he said.

When growing some of the flowers Brown grows in a season that's as cold as this one has been, he says you have to keep the greenhouse a little bit warmer than usual.

"Inside we've got heaters so we can protect them very well but our customers usually don't have the facilities we have," Brown said.

So it's not just the plants waiting for the warm weather, it's Browns customers too!

"When it's cold they don't buy and when it's warm they buy!" he said.

Hutson says she's relying on her cold weather plants as the ones in need of warmer weather, play catch up.

"We have strawberries! They're wonderful!"

Hutson and other farmers say this is all just a learning process. It hasn't been this cold in may that they're just adjusting their methods and hoping for the best. Hutson says if this is the last cold snap of the spring, most of her crops should be fully grown in a few weeks.

The Rusk Farmer's Market started Thursday at 5:00 p.m. It will be open every Thursday at 8:00 p.m. At Barb's Too restaurant off of Highway 69.

For more information head to this web site:!/events/426476407451093/

Jacksonville's Farmer's Market begins Tuesday May 7 at 5:00 p.m. at Saddler's Restaurant. 
Tyler's Farmer's Market starts Saturday at 7:00 a.m. It will be open every Saturday and Tuesday off of Front Street near Rose Stadium at the East Texas Fairgrounds.  

For more information head to this web site:


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