Georgia Peach Crop May Suffer Due To Warmer Winter

An audio version of this story.

Most people enjoy a warmer-than-usual winter.

But, Georgia peach farmers do not.  

Georgia’s peach crops need about 1,000 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees…between November and mid-February.

They’re called “chill hours.” 

“The trees need to lay dormant for a certain period of time and the buds really need that chill accumulation to be able to set a crop and create a peach,” said Lee Dickey, a peach farmer in Crawford County.

Last year Georgia had only about 750 chill hours and the crops were down about 20 percent.

This year, farmers say they’ll be lucky to get 600 chill hours. 

“It’s kind of a wait-and-see.  I still have hope, but I also have to admit that’s it’s not the best situation,” Al Pearson, with Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, said.

Georgia peaches go to market from mid-May to August.

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