Cold front damages South Georgia's peach crop - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cold front damages South Georgia's peach crop

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

MORVEN, GA (WALB) - Each year, at about this time, South Georgia's peach farmers have their fingers crossed that winter's temperatures won't make a sudden appearance.  This year, they weren't so lucky. 

At Lawson's Peaches in Morven, two types of peach trees perished in last week's sudden cold front.  "One's Florida Dawn, and the other would be Gulf King," says owner, Irvirn Lawson.  "Both of those were hurt pretty bad."

Those varieties had already bloomed early in January. When March delivered freezing temperatures of 26 degrees, Lawson says, "it pretty much got the good blooms we still had."

Those two varieties of peaches made up 30% of Lawson's entire crop. Without them, Irvin Lawson is still hoping to deliver the other 70%.

Workers at Lawson's Peaches know they're not out of the woods quite yet. Last year's small crop was due largely in part to a cold front that didn't hit until the first week of April.

This is the fourth straight year that South Georgia Peaches have died in late cold fronts.  To prevent this problem from happening next year, Lawson's Peaches is switching to varieties of peaches that bloom later in the year.

"By planting some later stuff, that kind of guarantees us that we'll have a crop later on," says Lawson.  "We may not have the early market, but we'll have peaches."

With the Brooks County Peach Festival coming up in May, Irvin Lawson assures us that no matter what spring has in store, Lawson's peaches will be ready for picking.

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