Lubbock farmer explains how severe weather affects crops and farmers markets

Lubbock farmer explains how severe weather affects crops

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With all of the severe weather lately, farmers Markets may look at little different if you go in the next couple of weeks. The recent severe weather has taken a toll on some crops.

According to the President of the West Texas Growers and Producers Association, Raw Lowry, crops above the ground have a hard time sustaining severe weather because the hail freezes them or they blow away. He has his own farm, R&R Farms, in West Lubbock and he says that his crops took a hard -but temporary- hit.

“80 percent for a week or a month time period,” said Lowry.

That’s how much he says crops were damaged on his farm in the past couple of weeks.

Lubbock farmer explains how severe weather affects crops and farmers markets (Source: KCBD)
Lubbock farmer explains how severe weather affects crops and farmers markets (Source: KCBD)

Two months ago, when I talked to Ray Lowry on his farm about strawberries, it was the high-winds that took down the high-tunnels, the structures that he and his wife, Rhonda, had the strawberries in. They started producing again, but with the severe weather, the sweet fruit is taking a hit again.

“We were probably producing 50 to 100 pounds a day and then the hail came in and our production went down.”

He says strawberries do well in temperatures that aren’t too hot, but with all of the strong wind gusts and hail that has visited his farm in the past two weeks, some strawberry plants will have to be replanted… some at a later time.

“They start putting out runners, the runners will come out and then come with little plants on them and we cut those and we put them in our grow room and start to regenerate those little plants and in the fall, we can replant them in areas that have died.”

Other crops that took a toll today were his zucchini and pepper crops.

“These were all big, vibrant, red leafy plants until the hail came,” he said pointing at the ground.

Ray did say that 80 percent of his crops were damaged but what about the other 20 percent? He says root vegetables- anything grown under the ground like an onion or a carrot- survive brutal weather. These are some things you can look for the next to you go to a farmer’s market in West Texas.

Lowry says strawberries from his farm will make a come back at the Farmer's Market he provides to in a couple of weeks. He also says that come July, fruits and vegetables will fill field including 10 different kinds of tomatoes, various types of squashes, and watermelons among more.

Ray Lowry says he and Rhonda take their produce to the Wild West Farmer’s Market every weekend through early fall.

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