Breaking News
More () »

Farmers assess peach crop after freezing temperatures

Peach farmers are trying to see if this year's crop will be peachy or the pits.

REYNOLDS, Ga. — After some recent freezing temperatures across Central Georgia, peach farmers are trying to see if this year's crop will be peachy or the pits. 

In Taylor County, one farm is looking at what will bloom and what won't. 

Tyler and Payton Wainwright both work at Southern Orchards Management in Peach County. The Strawberry Patch at Taylor Orchards in Taylor is where you can find both of them devouring the strawberries. You can't help but want to stop by and pick up a bucket of juicy red berries while you're there. 

Their farm has 6,000 acres of peach trees. Not all peaches will bloom at the same time. 

When you open a bud and it is bright green, that means it made it through the freeze. If it's brown, that means it did not make it. 

Tyler Wainwright says some branches will do better than others. 

"You can see on these trees, they are covered with blooms and they're very resilient, so we'll have peaches that will make. Yes, some will be killed in the frost but through up and down the tree there are so many blooms, and their resiliency is to a point that you'll have some on each limb which will, in turn, will be peaches," Wainwright said. 

Sometimes farmers will burn wood next to trees to keep them warm. Payton Wainwright says there is some benefit to it but not always. 

"As far as the whole scheme of things and the whole field, unless you have the fires throughout, which is pretty impossible, it doesn't help the whole field," he said.

In 2017, Dickey Farms lost 75% of its peach crop because of the cold weather.

Wainwright says they are not done assessing what buds were damaged but as long as there are beautiful pink flowers, the peaches will come in due time.

Wainwright says the Strawberry Patch in Taylor County is easier to protect with a tarp than the peaches.

The state produces several varieties of peaches, which are divided into general categories - freestone, semi-free, and clingstone. 

Georgia produces over 130 million pounds of peaches each year. Georgia has two commercial peach-growing regions. The central region is the largest with about 1.6 million peach trees and 75% of the state's production.


Before You Leave, Check This Out