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‘For now, everything looks to be on track’

How is the warmer weather affecting Georgia peach crops?

"Peaches in the south they need some chill hours and that's a measurement of dormancy and so for our trees here on the ridge we need anywhere from 650 to 1,000 hours per year," farmer Jason Rodgers said. With a warmer winter a few trees have already started to bloom, but Rodgers isn't too worried.

"We typically don't want to see the trees wake-up until the end of February, first of March," Rodgers said.

"When the night time temperatures warm up, so does the soil and that's what tells the tree, 'Okay! It's time for me to wake up.'"

"If we are blooming and we're below probably 26 or 27 degrees then that can cause damage to the blooms that are out there," Rodgers said. And damaged blooms means fewer peaches during the summer, which brings back chilling memories for Rodgers said.

"In 2017 where we actually had a freeze after bloom, and we actually lost 85 percent of the crop and so the bloom was out there and the freeze actually killed those blooms."

For now, everything looks to be on track for a good harvest, but farmers will keep their eye on the sky and the chances for chilly temperatures. For chilly temperatures farmers up around Trenton are usually in the clear starting late march.


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