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

Peach farmers expect great yields

May 14, 2004

Morven - It's harvest time for peach farmer Irvin Lawson, and he's hoping for his largest yield in years. "It looks like we've got about 85 percent of the crop," said Lawson.

That's because his peaches got more than enough chill hours, followed up by just the right amount of rainfall and sunshine. "We need plenty of the rain and moisture during the winter and dry weather right now for picking," said Lawson.

Lawson says this years crop is much better than years past. Many of last year's peaches were destroyed by a disease called brown rot. "When you have overcast, rainy, cloudy conditions like we did last year, brown rot gets on it and you have to throw a lot of your peaches away," said Lawson.

The best way to spot the perfect peach is by its size and color. You want about 50 percent of it to have a reddish tint, and the fruit should be about two inches in diameter. Lawson's finding lots of those perfect peaches in his orchards, and it's a good thing. His fruits are shipped all over the country. "Most of our peaches go up to the Northeast, we send some out west to Texas and Missouri, and some are going to Canada today," said Lawson.

Lawson's goal for this season is to harvest 60,000 half bushel boxes of peaches. And with a few weeks left in the harvest season plus much more ground to cover, he's headed in a good direction.

posted at 3:10 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com