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      Valley farmers assess winter blast crop damage

      With several nights of below freezing temperatures and our ice storm, many Rio Grande Valley farmers were worried about damage to their crops.

      But as area residents found out, there is still a little bit of hope.

      As a whole, we dodged a big bullet said Dr. Juan Anciso with Texas Agrilife Extension.

      He says damage to crops could have cost Valley farmers billions of dollars.

      Cool season crops, such as mustard greens, can tolerate cold temperatures but the recent winter blast was too much for cabbage and lettuce, which suffered a freeze burn.

      While most of the mustard greens survived this winter blast, those that did not will be shredded and then re-grown.

      Dr. Anciso said this process only takes about a month.

      He said we were lucky that our temperatures didn TMt fall into the low 20s.

      For them to get frozen, you need to get down to about 26 degrees for several hours Dr. Anciso said.

      While things may be okay at this field, the warm season crops, such as potatoes, peppers, and watermelons were completely destroyed.