Heavy rainfall hurts strawberry farms

Heavy rainfall hurts strawberry farms

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Many of the berries are molding because of the extra wetness. Many of the berries are molding because of the extra wetness.
The standing water is also attracting slugs and other pests. The standing water is also attracting slugs and other pests.
"Crops that we typically wouldn't have a problem with are getting mold and some of them are perishing," Shannon Meadows of Mountain Meadows Farm said. "Crops that we typically wouldn't have a problem with are getting mold and some of them are perishing," Shannon Meadows of Mountain Meadows Farm said.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

HEISKELL (WATE) - East Tennessee is dealing with record rainfall and local farmers told 6 News it's taking a toll on the crops.

The greater Knoxville area has received well above the normal amount of rain seen by the first week of May.

The owners of Mountain Meadows Farm in Heiskell have owned the farm for more than 40 years and said they have never had to deal with this amount of rainfall.

"In the strawberry patch we've got standing water, which makes it more disease-prone," Shannon Meadows said.

The more than 12 inches of rain that have already fallen this year have caused the farm to lose about 25 percent of its crops.

"We had a melon crop and the whole field got flooded so within a couple of days of planting the crop, it was pretty much gone and we had to replant seed," Meadows said.

Meadows said the berries are especially hit hard from the rainfall.

Meadows said strawberries are not only at risk of rotting, but they may also see visits from unwelcome critters thanks to the standing water.

"The slugs love to come out and eat the strawberries when it's really wet," Meadows said.

In previous rainy years, Meadows said they would pump the water off the farm but now they are using tunnels to create small drainage paths for the water.

Meadows said the water is causing a lot of problems, with mold killing otherwise healthy crops.

"Crops that we typically wouldn't have a problem with are getting mold and some of them are perishing," Meadows said.

Meadows said the clouds can also hurt the crops because sunshine is needed most of all to help them grow.

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