Vineyards deal with hail damage

Vineyards deal with hail damage

Posted:
Terry County, TX -

In West Texas, the hot days and cool nights provides the ideal grape growing weather. However, these past few weeks have been far from ideal. In fact, several vineyards experienced hail damage.

At Diamante Doble Dos Vineyard, there is a sense of uncertainty. After a hail storm last week in Terry County, farmer Ty Wilmeth estimates about ten percent of his grapes are damaged.

"We'll know in a month or six weeks or so," Wilmeth said.

While it is certainly unsettling, it is to be expected.

"It happens, if you're a farmer, you shouldn't be surprised by it," Katy Jane Seaton with the High Plains Winegrowers Association said.

Seaton said there have been a few vineyards in Lubbock and Hockley County disseminated so far this season. However, she said there are ways to rehab a damaged vineyard.

"Being able to restore that plant, send that plant into a restful state, where that plant can go ahead and produce fruit, making sure that it does so in balance to what it experienced early on in the growing season," Seaton said.

Wilmeth said there are positives to the storms. Around this time, farmers would have to thin out the plant or get rid of some of the leaves and clusters. With the wind and hail, Wilmeth said that has pretty much been taken care of, saving them money and time. 

"Hopefully we're done with the storms and we can just get rain," Wilmeth said.

He adds he does have crop insurance. However, since this is not a catastrophic loss, it will not cover the damage.

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