Missouri farmers are preparing for this week's cold snap, but not all plants can be covered

ASHLAND - The KOMU 8 First Alert Weather Team is expecting snow in mid-Missouri on Tuesday, and farmers are taking precautions to protect their crops. 

The expected low temperatures can damage and even ruin Missouri crops. A frost this late in the season can have detrimental effects for upcoming harvests. 

Paul Weber is the co-owner of Three Creeks Farm and Forest in Ashland. On Monday, Weber and his co-owner Emily Wright began covering the farm's produce crops. The farmers used wire hoops and cloth to create insulation for the field plants. 

"We got a jumpstart on getting things planted this year because it's been unseasonably warm for a while," Weber said. "We use a thin fabric to cover up the vegetables to limit the damage from the cold weather."  

Even with a frost coming in, Weber is confident the farm won't suffer too many crop losses. 

"We only have things planted that are already frost tolerant, so we're not really worried about the plants dying so much as we're worried they'll get damaged," Weber said. "We're making sure we get everything covered up and just hope it doesn't get too bad." 

Three Creeks grows vegetables, herbs and flowers in their southern Boone County fields. The nature of the crop harvest allows Weber and Wright to take precautions for this week's cold snap. 

Orion Beckmeyer is another mid-Missouri farmer in Ashland. He's the president of Beckmeyer Vineyards. His vineyard, unlike Three Creeks, cannot be as easily protected from the cold weather. 

"We're hoping we don't get the weather they're predicting because all the fruits and strawberries are in full bloom right now," Beckmeyer said. "In the vineyard, if the leaves freeze over well that's going to hurt quite a bit." 

The 8-acre vineyard can't be covered to protect the grape buds from the expected harsh weather. Beckmeyer explained how this might impact this year's harvest. 

"Our strawberries and fruit trees are probably just going to lose this year's crop, and the same with the grapes," Beckmeyer said. "If we lost it all, it would cost about $50,000." 

The crop growing season is not over anytime soon, and Beckmeyer is optimistic the frost won't ruin the entire harvest. 

"I'm hopeful that even if we get a freeze on the crops tomorrow or Wednesday, it will come with a secondary bud and we'll get a partial crop," Beckmeyer said. 

Missouri weather can be a rollercoaster every year, but even snow in late April is uncommon. Weber explained how his farm responds to the inconsistent weather. 

"It is a gamble to try and play the weather, however it may go," Weber said. "Because the weather is so unpredictable, you have to be able to plan all different kinds of scenarios out." 

Snow showers are expected to move in mid-Missouri early on Tuesday morning. KOMU 8 First Alert Weather has the latest weather updates for the upcoming week. 

Receive the top KOMU 8 News headlines of the day in your inbox.

Brought to you by First Midwest Bank