South Carolina and Georgia experienced very high temperatures over the past week. Day time temperatures reached over 100 degrees F in some places. The region is in the middle of the peach season, but growers said that this kind of weather can occur during June and the overall impact on peaches was minimal.
“It has certainly been hot here in South Carolina which is pretty normal for this time of year,” said a spokesperson at Dixie Belle Peaches. “Peaches like hot weather, so this round of heat has not affected the crop. Additionally, we apply irrigation to reduce the amount of heat stress and to keep the trees well watered. We are in the middle of our season and there is still a couple of months to go. We expect to have peaches available up until August.”
Another nearby peach grower, J.W. Yonce & Sons, said high temperatures can affect the fruit when they are sustained for a long period. Fortunately, the hot spell was not long enough for this to occur and production has continued as normal.
“Peaches generally do well in warm to hot weather, but if temperatures remain over 100 for a long time, it can damage the fruit. Although we did have a few days in the 100s this week, it is milder now, with temperatures back in the 80s today.”
North Carolina under storm warning
Meanwhile, storm warnings were issued for North Carolina and states in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. These were expected to develop over Thursday and into the early hours of Friday. However, growers have not reported any rain at all in the growing regions. “We haven’t really had any rain,” said one grower. “Instead, it’s been very dry and parts of the state are still in drought conditions. We hope we get some rain out of this system.”
Blueberries are a major crop for North Carolina, but there is no damage expected as the season is already winding down. “We have not received any rain in our region,” said a spokesperson at Lewis Nursery & Farms. “We grow strawberries, blueberries and blackberries but our season is just about done on all of them.”
The storms and hot weather are expected to clear out of the region by Friday morning, although more hot weather is forecast for early next week in South Carolina and Georgia.
Lewis Nursery & Farms, Inc.
Ph: +1 (910) 675-2394