HAMMOND, La. (WGNO)— Strawberry farmers in Louisiana are suffering right now. There are several factors that are killing the strawberry crops, and it is putting farmers in a bad position ahead of Ponchatoula’s upcoming Strawberry Festival.

“Mother nature is brutal. She can take you out quick,” Trey Harris at Harris Farm said.

Harris is battling Mother Nature trying to protect his strawberries.

“Ups and downs with the weather. Very cold, just stressed out the plants a lot this year,” he said.

Over at Harris Farm in Hammond, production is down around 40 percent because of the unpredictable weather and it even gets worse.

“A new disease, they just don’t have a fix on it. 40 percent resistance which isn’t good,” he said.

He said the healthy plants are affected by the wind which blows spores onto the healthy plants and starts killing them.

“The plants just dry and die,” Harris said.

Harris said with his strawberries dying, it could put a damper on what he’s able to sell for the upcoming Ponchatoula Strawberry Fest.

“You can have all the blooms you want until it turns red it is in the hands of the beholder. We depend on Jesus every day to provide for us. Mother nature is brutal,” Harris explained.

So what forecast do his strawberries desperately need?

“Ideal is 50-something-degree nights, 75-80 temps ideal, we don’t need any fog. Right now is crucial that we don’t lose any blooms,” said Harris.

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