GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. - Farmers are always at the mercy of mother nature, but between now and the end of April, it's especially worrisome.
Rollercoaster temperatures can destroy fields of crops. Right now, lows in the 20s and the potential for snow is putting some farmers on edge.
Strawberries and wheat - two different crops grown in Guilford County with one similar problem. Cold temperatures could be the death of them.
For James Kenan's Guilford County strawberries, a blanket of protection will only do so much.
“The covers will increase the temperature under here about 8°,” he said, “If it gets below 28°, then this is no longer going to be a strawberry.”
So far this year, it's not been so bad. The grow season gets problematic when it's too warm too soon, or too cold too late.
“Last year we had one of the roughest nights there's ever been on the face of this earth,” Kenan said, “It was around 22°, and the wind was blowing about eight or 10 mph, and it was later than this I think somewhere around the 10th or 11th.”
“As far as growth wise, we are in a good stage right now with the small grain. in the prior years like 2017 and 2016 basically grew too fast,” said Trey Early, another Guilford County farmer.
During that same late freeze last year, Early's wheat and barley crops took a hit.
“We lost about 20 percent of our barley crop, and around 10 or 15 percent of our wheat crop,” he said.
In this cold snap, he says his grains will likely be just fine.
But back over at Bernie's Berries and Produce, Kenan is still keeping a close eye on his blooms. In thirty days, these flowers will be ripe strawberries.
“Ware constantly fighting mother nature. We are too wet right now, come June and July, will be hollering that we need rain. Or that it's too hot. I mean that's just the nature of the beast,” he said.
And those covers on the plants? Kenan is looking to take them off on March 16 - the last real cold night in the forecast.