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Peach crop good for most, despite early freeze

A yield between 50 and 60 percent is expected for this season’s Chilton County peach crop, said Extension Agent Gary Gray.

Freeze damage in March and April wiped out some orchards completely, but those that survived the cold had adequate moisture to move the crop forward and came through the season with a marketable crop.

“Some folks didn’t have any peaches, and others had a good crop,” Gray said. “Most were hit hard by the freeze.”

The 2008 crop is an improvement from last year’s, which was also hit by a freeze but didn’t fare near as well in the extreme drought conditions. The 2007 crop saw only a 35-percent yield.

“This year has been a good year because we haven’t had too many disease problems, and that’s helped,” Gray added. “Rain hasn’t been too frequent, and we haven’t had as many foggy mornings.”

Gray expects there to be some peaches available through Labor Day weekend, which marks the end of the season for most growers, but not for everyone.

“Some don’t have larger varieties because they don’t like to carry out the season so long,” Gray said.