Weather News

Ohio strawberry farmer lost half of spring crop as berries ‘melted in the rain’ amid weather headaches

todayMay 29, 2024 6

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LOVELAND, Ohio – This year’s unusually high rainfall levels have set new records in Ohio, significantly affecting the strawberry crops at Bloom and Berries Farm in Loveland.Owner Jeff Probst says nearly half of their strawberry crops have been lost due to the rain, which may affect the availability of strawberries for summer fruit salads and daiquiris.”Berries that have melted in the rain,” he said. “We have 125,000 plants, and we’re persevering, but it’s been a tough spring. We had two weeks of absolute solid gray days and just rainy days.”INVASIVE INSECT THREATENS FLORIDA STRAWBERRY CROP AS TEXAS, CALIFORNIA BRACE FOR PECKISH PESTWhen it comes to fruit production, as with wine, strawberries also require sugars and sunlight to develop their flavors fully. Without these, the sugars won’t reduce, and the flavors would be flat, Probst adds.Bloom and Berries Farm is a direct-to-consumer business where visitors can pick fresh produce. Probst said his guests often express the desire for food grown the way it was 100 years ago, with care and attention from farmers, rather than being mass-produced.However, Probst said he is facing challenges due to changing weather patterns, making farming more difficult. To adapt, he has embraced agritourism, offering other activities like a beer garden, a petting zoo and children’s activities.”We’ve learned to diversify,” he said. “But in the end, what we have to do is we need to address this weather situation because it’s getting harder and harder to farm.”ANTARCTICA GETS ‘TASTE OF SUMMER’ AS WATERMELONS BLOOM IN COLDEST PLACE ON EARTHProbst said strawberries are particularly sensitive, and he fears that farming will become increasingly challenging in the future.Strawberry crops have faced challenges beyond rainfall. Freezes in the winter have also impacted nearby farmers, leading to reduced availability of strawberries in the region.”To get decent strawberries,” Probst said, “we’re looking at three to six hours away because our whole region has just really struggled with that winter, early-spring forecast.”

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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