Local sugar cane farmer shares harvest season recap following roller coaster weather

Local News

“I always knew since I was three years old what I was going to do,” says farmer Matt Frey

Frey along with his three brothers are carrying on a tradition that their father started more than 50 years ago.

Matt along with his three brothers Mitch, Mark, and Marty took over the farm in 1982 after their father retired renamed it Four Oaks.

“It’s stuff we’ve been doing all of our lives, so it’s just a way of life. We just get up and do it,” he says.

Frey says what he enjoys during the season seeing it all come together.

“Having all the little pieces that you have to put together and get it to succeed. That’s the best part of it,” Frey adds.

With the 2018 harvest underway and just a few weeks to go until it’s over, Frey says this year is not the same as last because of recent weather patterns.

“We are seeing some freeze damage. Different varieties are hurt worse than others and now that it’s warming up, it’s deteriorating the cane a little faster.”

Frey says this years harvest numbers will be below average compared to last year which can be a financial strain.

“It’s going to be big for us. We’re off quite a bit.”

Thousands of acres are filled with sugar cane every year and although this years harvest didn’t have the best outcome as Frey hoped, but he says there’s always next year.

“We’ll come back. We had a big planting this year to grow for next year and we’ll be alright.”

Frey says the 100-day harvest is expected to be over by Christmas Eve.

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