ALMA, GA - This week's late winter freeze appears to have done severe damage to South Georgia's blueberry crop.
Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black toured several blueberry farms Friday in southeastern Georgia.
A Manor farmer told WALB he estimates 80% of his unprotected blueberry crop was destroyed by the freeze and believes this is the "single most devastating" freeze for his bushes.
The farmer also thinks the towns in his area that depend on the blueberry crop for income will become "ghost towns".
The 2015 UGA Farm Gate Value report estimated Georgia blueberry production at $255,714,085.
Lee County's Extension Agent, Doug Collins, said he has seen freezes as late as Easter, and hopes this is the last this season.
"There have been later freezes than this, but this was a little bit late, given we have had so much warm weather this winter."
Some good news for other farmers, the pecan crop doesn't appear to be affected.
Collins said there could be some damage to young trees, but farmers won't know to what extent the pecan wood was hurt for several years.