Growers race against the clock to harvest tobacco

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Heavy rains and strong winds from late September to early October have area growers like Faylene Whitaker playing catch up.

"They are phenomenal. Our workers are a great group of guys,” Whitaker said.

Workers are about a week behind in harvesting over 400 acres of organically grown tobacco. Now crews are moving as fast as they can because cool temperatures could hurt the leaves.

"Now we are trying to strip it, beat any frost that’s coming and we hope we don’t see any cold weather before the end of November.”

Whitaker adds days of heavy rainfall turned the strawberry fields into mud and affected how strawberries are planted.

"Normally we use a machine. But the team actually took the wheels off of the machine and pulled it through here and planted them by hand and our hats are off to them.”

If the weather works out, strawberries should be ready in the spring.

The rain also damaged a number of pumpkins. But workers were able to save part of the crop, much to the delight of Maggie Fetner and her family.

"We were glad to have an outing and pick our pumpkin to carve this year."

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