Peach farmers welcome cold temps - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Peach farmers welcome cold temps

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January 24, 2003

Morven - Frigid temperatures are bad news for most South Georgia crops, but for peaches, its just what they need for survival.

"Peaches require a certain amount of chill hours, that's less than 45 degree temperatures, in order to be fruitful," said Peach Farmer Irvin Lawson.

Lawson has wished for a winter like this for years. "So far we've already got over 700 chill hours so peach production is looking real good this year."

Most peach plants require between 350 and 900 chill hours. Anything less could be bad news for peach farmers. "If we don't get what we need, the peach won't have a good shape, won't be very juicy, and basically not a good fruit," said Irvin.

Last year's peach production is a perfect example of just how vital cold temperatures are. "Last year, we didn't get nearly enough chill hours and unfortunately, we lost a good portion of our crop," said Irvin.

But with close to 800 chill hours already under his belt, Lawson is confident this will be one of his best harvest seasons ever.

posted at 2:45 by ashley.harper@walb.com