REDLAND, Fla. – Time was of the essence for workers at the Redland Nursery, north of Homestead, where the focus was on protecting their inventory of tropical foliage.
As a strong cold front starts to sweeps the region on Saturday, and north winds make it feel like it is freezing, workers will be using 72-degree water to keep plants warm.
“First, we put on the plastics to keep the heat in, and once we turn on the water, it’s warm and will heat up the air,” Sam Accursio said.
Temperatures drop to the 30s on Sunday morning
About half of the country’s produce comes from South Florida in the winter months and local farmers fear most of it could be damaged.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried asked agricultural producers to keep accurate records and document losses and damages to apply for disaster assistance.
“I encourage all producers to prepare as best you can ahead of the anticipated cold front, including being aware of potential disaster assistance programs and their requirements,” Fried said in a statement.
Producers who have risk protection through Federal Crop Insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program should report crop damage to their agent or the Farm Service Agency office within 72 hours of the disaster and follow up in writing within 15 days.
There is a freeze watch in effect in Miami-Dade and Broward counties from late Saturday night to Sunday morning. There is also a wind chill watch in effect in Broward where dangerously cold wind chills could result in hypothermia or frostbite.
For the latest forecast information, click here to visit the Weather Authority page.