Peach farmers expect a great crop - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Peach farmers expect a great crop

Mike Abbott Mike Abbott
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January 15, 2004

Barney - Peach farmer Mike Abbott is looking forward to one of his best harvests in years. "The buds look good on the trees, so everything's going real well," said Abbott.

That's because we've had plenty of cold weather lately, which is just what this fruit needs. "We have to have 750 chill hours, which is where the trees have to be dormant, and it has to be 45 degrees or below to be considered chill hours," said Abbott.

But just a few months ago, things weren't looking so good. "In November, we only had about 150 hours, then in December we started getting a good bit more, and now we're in real good shape," said Abbott.

Right now, the trees that fill peach orchards look pretty bare. But with the right amount of cold weather followed by lots of sunshine, come May they'll be covered with sweet, juicy peaches. "When the blooms open, we'll need sunshine weather so they'll pollinate and good pollination is key," said Abbott.

The past couple of years have yielded a less than perfect peach crop. "We've had late freezes and not enough chill hours," said Abbott. But Abbott is confident this year will be different.

posted at 2:15 by ashley.harper@walb.com

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