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May 27, 2017

Peach Season for the Florida Peach Industry and the Southeast: Just Peachy or the Pits

Discover how the Florida peach industry is faring with this season’s peach harvest.

If you’re in peach farming in the Southeast, your season is either going just peachy or it’s the pits. This year, it’s that late season cold snap that created a dividing line between the Florida peach season and the rest of the Southeast’s season. Explore below how the Florida peach industry is progressing compared to their neighboring states in the Southeast.

Southeast’s Cold Woes

Bad pun aside, there are fewer ways that are more to-the-point when labeling the Southeast’s peach season than “it’s the pits.” In a article on Georgia’s peach season, the term “worst peach season in 100 years” was used. First, unseasonably warm weather put Georgia peach growers far under the number of chill hours required for optimum peach growing. Then, the Georgia ag industry—including peach farming—was hit with a massive cold snap in mid-March. The sentiment is that while there will be fruit throughout the season, harvest totals will be down significantly from previous years.

South Carolina peach farmers were also hit hard by the cold snap. With temperatures reported in the high teens, tender peach blossoms were frozen on the branch. Estimates of peach crop loss from a local news report put the losses at 85% to 90% in some areas and others at a 100% loss. A North Carolina news report out of Fayetteville maintained that early-blooming peach trees were devastated, but some trees showed a promise of peaches later on, albeit in smaller numbers.

Season Update for Florida Peach Industry

The Florida peach industry is still in its infancy, and it got a leg-up when the cold snap that devastated the peach trees in Georgia and the Carolinas seemed to stop at Florida’s door. While Florida peach orchards have more fruit on the tree than their northern counterparts, it’s not a bumper crop. Even with low-chill varieties, this winter’s unseasonably warm weather made for a smaller harvest, but it’s still a win this year for Florida peaches.

AgAmerica Lending understands the ups and downs of agriculture, and we are here for peach growers in good times and bad. Contact us to speak to a team member about how we have helped peach growers finance their farms.

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