Georgia peach crop takes major hit with cold snap in March

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 6:59 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - There’s nothing like that bite into a juicy Georgia peach. We’re a few months away from peak peach season, which means peach blooms are in their most vulnerable state. After a cold snap, farmers are finding out how much of their crops are

Jake Carter is a fifth-generation farmer at Southern Belle Farm. He grows 10 varieties of peaches on 20 acres. He said when the forecast drops below 28 degrees they go into rescue mode. He used helicopters to keep frost from forming on the ground. The method saved some of the crops.

“We feel like we do have a peach drop, to what extent we don’t yet know,” said Carter.

Pam Knox with the UGA Extension office says some peach producers are worried about the changing climate. On average, the state’s temperature is 2 degrees warmer than in 1960. Knox said there have been frosts in key months like March and April.

“Other parts of the state probably will not see peaches this year, only just a few. It’s a constant struggle because as the climate changes, there’s always new challenges,” said Knox.

Peaches are not the only crops impacted. Blueberries already began blooming before this last freeze. The UGA Extension office is researching ways genetically modify peach seeds that can withstand Georgia’s changing climate.