Alabama

US: Freeze impacted Chilton County peaches

A recent freeze has impacted the upcoming crop of peaches in Chilton County. Farmers say the peaches need between 800 and 1,200 hours of cold weather before they bloom. However, once the peach blooms, it becomes susceptible to damage in freezing temperatures.

There were three straight days last week where temperatures dropped below freezing, and farmers at Boozer Farms in Thorsby said they lost nearly half their crops. The ones damaged were at the furthest stage of development, and nearly all of them were lost.

Taylor Hatchett of Boozer Farms: "It may mean that early on, you're not able to find local Chilton County peaches, but as we progress into the season, hopefully we'll have a nice supply of those. And for a lot of people, probably myself included, sometimes those earliest varieties, they're wonderful because their early and we can get that first peach of the season, but the later varieties a lot of times are the ones that really pack the punch with the flavor.”

Though Boozer Farms’ first harvest will be late May, officials said it is not expected to be big.

Trying to minimize damage to crops, wsfa.com reports that some farmers will burn fires near crops to keep them warm, and others will have helicopters fly over to keep the air moving.


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