- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Strawberry farmers are rushing to protect their crop from the cold temperatures.

The Virginian-Pilot reports (https://bit.ly/2nkSaoF) that buds have sprouted in Hampton Roads after the second-hottest February on record. The plants are now vulnerable to this week’s sub-freezing temperatures.

Strawberry grower Barbara Henley in Virginia Beach said strawberry plants are normally dormant this time of year.

Local farmers are using a variety of methods to combat the frost. They include plastic blankets, row covers and spraying the plants with water. The ice that forms provides a protective barrier.

Agriculture experts say peaches and blueberries are also at risk.

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