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Cold nights in the Piedmont tough for local strawberry farmers

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – These cold nights have been tough for strawberry farmers.

"Since Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., I've had about two hours of sleep," said Dean Ingram with Ingram Farms. "We are adding water at least every minute as long as that water is freezing its creating heat and protecting the plants."

The early spring brought out the strawberry blooms 2-3 weeks early forcing farmers to protect the fragile blooms when this week's temperatures dipped below freezing.

Farmers protect the crop by constantly sprinkling water on the plants, which puts off a small amount of heat and traps it under the layer of ice.

Many farmers have to stay up throughout the night to monitor temperature and make sure the sprinklers don't freeze.

"We did a pretty good job," said Kenneth Rudd with Rudd Farm, who also covers his crops with a protective cloth. "We probably won’t know until this weekend when we can take the covers off for a few days."