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Texas peach crop faced with hail and lower chill hours

Texas could face another challenging peach season this spring. Jamey Vogel of Vogel Orchard in Fredericksburg, Texas says its harvest will start around May 1. This is slightly earlier than normal due to winter ending a bit earlier. "We had enough chill to move the early peaches along and we've had some decent moisture this spring," says Vogel.

Texas peach harvest will start around May 1–slightly earlier than normal thanks to winter ending a bit earlier.

However, this harvest follows a hail storm in the region just over a week ago. "It knocked a good portion of the small peaches off the tree in a lot of places and then what was left, another portion of that was damaged," he says. That said, the hail didn't hit all peach-growing regions equally and while some growers saw damage, others didn't as much. While spring storms aren't unusual in this region, the hail this time was certainly uneven. "Some neighbors even a few miles away were spared. Texas hail tends to be very streaky."

Marginal chill hours
This is also on top of the fact that Vogel says the crop didn't have a cold enough winter to set a full crop. "It was looking better than the last two years though. However it's still not a full crop due to marginal chilling," he adds.

Vogel (seen right, center, with his family) says the full effect of the weather events on the Texas peach season remains to be seen.

That said, the full effect of these weather events isn't known yet. "Things can change during the season. We have a harvest season that lasts over three months and it can get hot and dry late in the season," he says.

This crop is likely to see strong retail demand for the fruit. However, growers who have been more impacted by the hail may not have sufficient quantities to meet the demand.

As for pricing, retail pricing could be on the stronger side as it has been in the past few years due to factors such as increased input costs and more limited supply.

For more information:
Jamey Vogel
Vogel Orchard
Tel: +1 (830) 644-2404
[email protected]