CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — With freeze warnings and alerts in effect around the Charlotte area, local farmers are feeling the impact on both their crops and their wallets.

Some local farmers at Sunday’s Charlotte Regional Farmers Market say they didn’t produce the winter crop they had hoped for due to sporadic weather conditions. Though they are more hopeful for their spring harvest, farmers in the northern and western parts of the state are already hurting from these latest cold fronts.  

Gene Moore of Farmer Gene Farms in Union County says even though the cold weather can damage crops, the demand for local produce doesn’t drop. He’s supplementing by importing fruit from other areas to sell at local farmers markets.

But even importing crops isn’t easy this year.

“There’s not enough to ship all over the country. That includes the weather that’s happening in California with the floods, the cold that’s been dipping way down into Florida. It’s affected all of it,” said Moore.

With his entire life spent farming and a family of farmers that spans back at least seven generations, Moore says he’s ready to handle cold snaps whenever they arise. But, he says they are happening more often.

“Peaches, strawberries, things like that that are blooming early, it has been rough on them,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Jason Parker of Berry Fields in Shelby says his crops have been largely OK this year, especially because he deals heavily in cold-weather crops like kale varieties and mustard greens. But for his plants that do need warmer temperatures to thrive, he says it doesn’t take sub-freezing temperatures to see a difference in their health.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to freeze, but it’ll drop down and look like you haven’t watered it in a month. And it’s just cold air that’ll drop them down,” said Parker.

For now, both Parker and Moore agree that all they can do is pray for rain and warmer days, taking every farming decision daily.

“There’s a fine line here with our North Carolina weather,” said Parker. “We were at, like, 80 degrees in February, and now look where we are.”