Panhandle Farmers Dealing with Freeze

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Panhandle farmers and ranchers are scrambling to shield their crops and livestock from the hard freeze. Protecting the livestock is the main focus this time of year.

It’s feeding time for the cows.

"We typically feed them five days a week and we give them a full pound of protein supplement with a good bit of fat in the protein," says Mack Glass. But with the extreme cold weather approaching, farmer Glass will be supplying them with more to eat. "We make sure they have free choice hay during the real cold days...and more to drink. One of our first chores in the morning will be to come break the ice on the water troughs."

Animals aren't the only agricultural concern glass has to consider.

He'll also be up most of the night protecting his 600 Satuma Trees.

"We have our emitter elevated to about five feet in the tree so that we save the scaffle limbs and the trunk." The harvest season is now over and icicles already cover the base of many of his trees. "They generate heat by creating ice," Glass says.

Satsumas actually benefit from limited exposure to cold weather, but too much can be detrimental.

"The Satsumas, if it gets below 28 degrees for more than four hours, they start to get damaged," says Doug Mayo.

Since most of their traditional crops have been harvested, Jackson County Extension Director Doug Mayo says the main emphasis will be on protecting animals.

"Just monitoring animals because anytime it's this cold, it really stresses the animals so there's a higher chance of getting sick."

But for Glass, he says it's just another day on the farm.

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