Northeast Indiana farmers prepare for impending cold temperatures

A hard freeze, temperatures 30 or below, are expected in Northeast Indiana this coming Wednesday. Preparation is underway for local farmers who're concerned for their crops.

Posted: Apr 18, 2021 7:01 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2021 8:31 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- A hard freeze, temperatures 30 or below, are expected in Northeast Indiana this coming Wednesday. Preparation is underway for local farmers who're concerned for their crops. 

Joseph Hilger and his family are taking turns irrigating their farm’s strawberry fields, “8-10 hours every night,” he said. 

The 71-year-old has been living and farming in Indiana his whole life, but “we’ve never had snow on top of them. We’ve had cold weather we’ve had to deal with, we just irrigate the heck out of them and we get standing water,” Hilger said. 

The bare strawberry blossom is the most at-risk crop at Hilger Family Farm.

“If we miss 10 minutes or 20 minutes of irrigation, like if we run out of fuel if we bust a pipe and we’ve had that happen already - we gotta get fixed in a hurry,” he said. 

The elbow grease is needed to prepare for this week’s expected hard freeze, temperatures 30 degrees or below.

At Orchard Hill Farms, preparation is underway as well.

“In 50 years we never really had any problems until last year when the cold came in May,” Hertha Meyer said.

Meyer has owned the Kendallville farm since 1969.

“This is my garden of Eden on earth,” she said. 

To keep the blossoms safe against the impending cold, “he’s putting the water on as a protective covering because they do that with strawberries too,” Meyer said. 

Just down the road at their cherry orchard, the Meyers dispersed metal drums, filled them with wood and lit them on fire to raise the air temperature a few degrees.

“All you can do really is pray, and I do a lot of that,” she said. 

Meyer is hopeful the weather will get warm and stay warm very soon.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 733591

Reported Deaths: 13466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1003871748
Lake54020975
Allen40829679
St. Joseph35898552
Hamilton35735408
Elkhart28745442
Tippecanoe22432219
Vanderburgh22342397
Porter18871310
Johnson18028381
Hendricks17283315
Clark13015191
Madison12725339
Vigo12482248
LaPorte12011214
Monroe11928170
Delaware10726187
Howard9959218
Kosciusko9451117
Hancock8325142
Bartholomew8085156
Warrick7792155
Floyd7677178
Grant7080174
Wayne7064199
Boone6722101
Morgan6596139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6083112
Cass5839105
Dearborn582178
Henry5767104
Noble563684
Jackson502773
Shelby493696
Lawrence4571120
Harrison436372
Gibson436292
DeKalb429685
Clinton428153
Montgomery425389
Whitley397439
Huntington393380
Steuben390057
Miami382668
Knox372690
Jasper370148
Putnam362360
Wabash354980
Adams341955
Ripley340270
Jefferson331581
White315654
Daviess298299
Wells291981
Decatur285692
Fayette281662
Greene280085
Posey271933
LaGrange268370
Scott267254
Clay260647
Washington241832
Randolph241481
Spencer232631
Jennings230649
Starke217854
Fountain213246
Sullivan212142
Owen202156
Jay196730
Fulton195640
Carroll189620
Orange184154
Perry184037
Rush173725
Vermillion169743
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146616
Blackford135132
Pike135134
Pulaski117145
Newton108334
Brown102641
Crawford101315
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71110
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1089357

Reported Deaths: 19528
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1265611406
Cuyahoga1129542134
Hamilton803281211
Montgomery517261015
Summit47483955
Lucas42491792
Butler38487585
Stark32544909
Lorain25135486
Warren24359300
Mahoning21735588
Lake20791371
Clermont19844240
Delaware18582133
Licking16470212
Fairfield16284200
Trumbull16141468
Medina15341266
Greene15128244
Clark14062299
Wood13153189
Portage12930206
Allen11713232
Richland11414199
Miami10706220
Wayne8900214
Columbiana8859229
Muskingum8824133
Pickaway8589121
Marion8553136
Tuscarawas8500245
Erie7937155
Hancock6935128
Ashtabula6871172
Ross6871156
Geauga6724148
Scioto6431102
Belmont5960168
Union572948
Lawrence5583102
Jefferson5566151
Huron5453120
Darke5372126
Sandusky5369122
Seneca5305122
Washington5213109
Athens520458
Auglaize494586
Mercer481185
Shelby470193
Knox4506110
Madison438263
Putnam4297101
Fulton425969
Ashland425190
Defiance423997
Crawford3989107
Brown396657
Logan383076
Preble381098
Clinton373863
Ottawa368181
Highland356262
Williams342575
Champaign334658
Guernsey317353
Jackson313752
Perry295750
Morrow286839
Fayette282950
Hardin271564
Henry270266
Coshocton265657
Holmes2621101
Van Wert243963
Adams239553
Pike238034
Gallia236449
Wyandot232055
Hocking216062
Carroll192148
Paulding173940
Meigs145240
Noble133737
Monroe132542
Harrison109237
Morgan108523
Vinton84215
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 69°
Angola
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 69°
Van Wert
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 68°
Isolated rain showers are possible late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. Most of Sunday will be dry and warm, but one or two pop-up showers possible Sunday afternoon.
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