Georgia’s unpredictable weather earlier this year has left many peach farmers in a tough predicament, losing most of their crop.
State Representative Robert Dickey knows peaches as a fourth generation grower on his family farm.
He says this season is unlike any other he can remember.
“We knew we were going to be short because of the lack of chill,” Dickey said. “Then when the freeze hit in late March, it was a double whammy for us, so this year, the peaches are far and few between.”
He says the wild weather wiped out about 75 percent of his crop on his thousand-acre farm.
“The trees do have some fruit on them. A lot of blocks have zero, and some have a pretty good crop,” Dickey said. “Instead of having 700 pieces of fruit, maybe have 100 pieces of fruit.”
The peaches that survived and are picked will cost you more.
“Prices have been up this year. It’s just one of the natural things, supply and demand with agriculture crops so they might be a little pricier,” Dickey said.
He says there are plenty of peaches to enjoy in Georgia, but others across the country might not get a chance for a juicy Georgia peach this summer.
“We’re not able to ship whole lot across the country this year,” Dickey said. “The quality has been great, the sweetness, and taste is wonderful this year, but for out-of-state buyers, it’s not going to be a lot of Georgia peaches across the country.”
He says there have been years of total loss, but he’s thankful this wasn’t one of them.
“Were harvesting fruit every day and taking what the Lord gives on these trees,” Dickey said. “Some will get marketable, some will be too small to even be able to sell. We’re taking every day one day at a time.”
Dickey says grocery stores might have to supplement their peach inventory with California peaches. He says if you want Georgia peaches, their packing house is open seven days a week.