Georgia’s Peaches In Peril Following Unseasonable Weather, Farmers Say
“You will not be able to find a Georgia peach in grocery stores this year.”
Things are not looking good for Georgia peaches this season.
Farmers in Georgia are describing alarmingly slim pickings of the beloved state fruit following a “triple-whammy” of unseasonable weather in February and March.
Specialty Crop Industry reports that growers are seeing considerably less peaches due to a combination of unusually warm temperatures in winter—which caused the trees to bloom earlier than usual—and two “devastating” frosts in mid-March, when temperatures sunk into the 20s in some parts of the state.
Robert Dickey, a producer in Musella, told the magazine that the “variable weather has not been kind” to the state’s peach crop.
“The peaches, unfortunately, are not looking well. The last bad freeze that we had really decimated the crop in the whole Southeast, especially Georgia,” Dickey said to Specialty Crop Industry. “It’s going to be a very, very short [season]. It’s just one of those freak weather events. We’ll have some, but it’ll mainly be in June and July.”
Lawton Pearson, who owns Pearson Farms in Fort Valley and sits on the Georgia Peach Council, told 11Alive that Central Georgia peach-growers saw about a 90 percent loss this year—worse than initially predicted. His wife Lanier called the situation “worse than anything I've ever seen.”
“It's kind of like a triple-whammy—one of those events we could have sustained and had a loss, but not this significant,” she told the local news station. “You will not be able to find a Georgia peach in grocery stores this year.”
Speaking with The Takeout, Dickey said that consumers should be prepared to pay more to enjoy a delicious Georgia peach this year, estimating that they will cost between 20-50 percent more. That's if you can get your hands on them at all.
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