Peach crop threatened by cold temps - CBS46 News

Peach crop threatened by cold temps

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The freezing temperatures are having an impact on Georgia's famous peach crop.

Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia even saw peach blossoms that were dead Wednesday morning from the overnight freeze.

Jarl Echols owns the farm and says he won't know the damage of these cold temperatures for a few days.

"That peach right there is dead, it died this morning,” says Echols.

Peach growers are especially nervous as crops were in bloom three weeks earlier than normal.

Echols said, he knew it was going to be a risky year.

“These blooms will actually get acclimatized, they will get used to cool weather, frosty mornings, they will get used to it, but if you have 70-degree days then all of the sudden you get a 30-degree day, they aren’t accustomed to that and it will kill it sometimes."

The Georgia Agriculture Commissioner released this statement:

"The temperatures last night and those forecasted tonight could easily equate to hundreds of millions of dollar in consequences for many of our fruit and vegetable farmers.  The early spring that we have been experiencing the last few weeks has led to early blooming of our peach crop and unfortunately the freezing temperatures killed any open flowers and possibly compromised emerging buds.  Blueberry farmers fared a bit better last night with temperatures hovering right about freezing and a light wind in those producing areas, however they will be on close watch tonight as the temperatures are expected to dip below freezing.  Our Vidalia onion growers also escaped any major damage so far, but again, tonight will be the true test as any frost damage to the tops could be an unwelcome pathway for plant diseases.  And as we keep all of our farmers in harm’s way in our thoughts and prayers, we certainly cannot forget the unsung hero of our blooming crops, the honeybee.  Any damage to the flowers of the crops will ultimately disrupt the cycle of the honeybee, which is so crucial to our produce industry."

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black 

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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