Grow Farms Texas' Tommy Wilkins Discusses Extreme Weather Aftermath on Produce in Texas
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
DONNA, TX - Several states have seen a tumultuous two days of weather patterns, with tragedy having struck Texas just north of Dallas after experiencing nine different tornadoes.
“Northeast Dallas had multiple tornadoes, and in west Texas there’s been 14 to 18 inches of snow and 40 mph winds,” Tommy Wilkins, Director of Sales for Grow Farms Texas, tells me.
While it has been a tragic report from the areas hit the hardest, with CNN reporting 11 fatalities in the Dallas area and significant structure damages, the south felt harsh winds that its leafy greens aren’t used to seeing.
“Here, all the weather dynamics are converging,” Tommy said, explaining that after seeing 90 degree weather on Thursday the area was hit with 40 to 50 mph winds, causing some damage to the leaves. “It’s going to take a couple of days to see how much damage there really is, but mostly it's to the leaves from those winds.”
The area is currently growing leafy greens, cabbage, chards, beets, and cilantro, and while the wind caused damage to the leaves it also brought a blessing: cooler weather.
"The cilantro, chard, and other tender greens aren’t used to that strong of wind down here for multiple days so there is damage to the leaves, but the cooler weather is good because it was really too hot and burning down here,” Tommy said.
South Texas is currently expected to see temperatures in the low 60s, high 50s and rain in the next couple of days, even with lows in the mid 40s this weekend, according to the Weather Channel.
Other states that are combating Mother Nature include New Mexico, Michigan, and Georgia, which CNN reports have all seen a broad mix of weather ranging from tornadoes and flash floods to blizzards and freezing rain. Missouri and Illinois have experienced dangerous flash flooding and continue to be on watch.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller released a statement addressing the blows Mother Nature has dealt to the state, announcing that relief resources are available through the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to rural communities, farmers, and ranchers who have been impacted by the recent severe weather.
“Texans are no strangers to extreme weather, and time after time, we pitch in to help our neighbors when Mother Nature throws us her worst. Whether through the STAR fund or any other reputable charitable organization, I encourage all Texans to lend a hand to those who have been affected by this storm,” Commissioner Miller said in the release. “TDA is committed to providing any assistance we can, and our prayers remain with the families who have lost so much, our first responders, and everyone who is beginning to rebuild after this terrible storm.”
Fortunately, though aid continues to be available to those who need it, the TDA reports that no requests for food assistance have been received as of yesterday afternoon.
AndNowUKnow will continue to follow any and all weather patterns in Texas and beyond as they potentially impact the produce industry.