Easter Freeze hurts Brooks County Peaches - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Easter Freeze hurts Brooks County Peaches

April 11, 2007

Brooks County - Irvin Lawson closely watches the weather because of the effect it has on his peach crop.  "We had enough chill hours to make every variety," he says.

Earlier this year he was worried he wouldn't get enough cold weather, but now, he's gotten too much.  "There's 159 acers over here and pretty much all of them are destroyed."

And he's not alone. The Easter Freeze damaged almost half of the peach crop in Brooks County.  "It will freeze the center of the peach and the harder that peach pit crystallizes, most times it's not going to grow and fall off," says Johnny Whidden, Extension Coordinator in Brooks County.

The freeze stunted the growth of the young peaches it didn't kill off.  And although they still stand a chance, they'll never make it to market.

But growers say this is nothing new and each year brings their crops a new obstacle to overcome.  "Either cold damage or you get not enough rain or you get a hail storm or something like that," Whidden says.

And although they'll have to push back this years harvest, "Normally we'll start picking peaches around April 15th. However, this year I believe it's going to be about May First," says Lawson.

They are optimistic the remaining peaches will be enough.  "We just have to see what the good Lord gives us one year to the next and we take what he gives us and do the best we can with it," Whidden says.

And continue turning life's damaged peaches into peach daiquiris.

 

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