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North Texas Farmers Protect Against Freeze

PARKER COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) - Cold temperatures that were damaging for North Texas farmers in April, could be devastating in May. Growers in Parker and Wise counties, already dealing with severe crop losses from late spring freezes, were covering some plants and watering others, hoping to escape the lowest temperatures.

Several weeks into the growing season, some crops are already too tall to cover. Ben Walker, who runs a small farm in northern Parker County, said he would run his irrigation all night in an effort to warm up the ground a couple degrees. Walker already lost the majority of his peach blossoms for the year during April. His plums, beans, and tomatoes were all at risk with this cold snap.

Many of the small producers supply local restaurants and high-end grocery stores. Crop loss means higher prices for what survives. It also means there may not be enough work for some farm employees Walker said.

The O'Bannon family in Weatherford could only wait to see what Friday would bring. 90-precent of their peach crop was lost in April. The few remaining peaches growing were sucesptible to insects, birds and deer.

Jean O'Bannon said she started telling long time customers who called last month, not to expect any fruit.

"I say it doesn't look like we're going to have anything," she said. "But if I do, you're first on the list."

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