Local farmers move to protect crops from freezing temperatures

Expected wind could prevent frost from forming

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - The expected dip in temperatures has many farmers in the western communities of South Florida on high alert on Saturday.

Crop growers are watching the forecast closely, hoping the mercury does not dip into freezing, which many said would significantly damage their plants.

Nursery farmers such as Joey Quinn of Quinntessence Nursery in Loxahatchee spent Saturday with his crew covering many of his sub-tropical plants.

Quinn said that while the air temperature could hover around the 40s, the temperature at ground level could be much colder. And when that happens, plants freeze, Quinn said.

To make matters worse, the area was enjoying balmy weather just a few days ago. The dramatic dip in temperatures can stunt the growth of younger plants, Quinn said.

"Well more than anything, I'll lose sleep if I don't do it. So I'm going to cover," said Quinn. "I just don't believe in taking chances. It doesn't take but one bad decision and you could lose a large percentage of your crop and that can hurt us."

Quinn said the one weather element working in his favor is the wind. When it is gusty, it prevents frost from freezing according to Quinn.

Many farmers anticipate the wind will subside by Sunday and that by then, the worst will be over.

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