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Early bloom peaches fail to survive ice storm

KETK
News

POSTED: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 6:53pm

We're just about two weeks away from spring! And some of our favorite fruit is starting to bloom. But, the peach crop was affected by the ice storm.

"The ice storm affected the early blooming varieties and they will probably have 0 to 20% crop," said owner of Bob Wells Nursery Bob Wells.

"The early peaches will almost be non-existent," said Wells.

Chad Gulley with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service says the growers he's talked to also lost their early bloom.

"Peaches can tolerate a little cold weather but we got in at 16,17 degrees and were in ice for two to three days, some of the early varieties that were a full bloom he thinks those may be a total loss," said Gulley.

The growers hope the temperatures will stay steady for the late bloom. If there is not another freeze in the forecast, the late bloom peaches will be fine, and farmers will end up with some good crops. But, if we have some below freezing temperatures, it can devastate the rest of the crop.

"Some of the later varieties of the bloom, he said were about a week to 10 days to find out if those were affected. He said right now they are not looking good but he said if we get some warm weather the next few days, some of those later varieties that late matured may actually produce some fruit," said Gulley.

Sunday when the ice storm hit, Wells said he put his frost sensitive plants into a green house.

"We haven't seen the ice this late and the temperatures this severe. We've been using gas in our greenhouse to keep citrus trees and other sensitive plants alive," said Wells.  

But, the peaches already bloomed.

"There is nothing you can do in the orchards except let nature take it's course," said Wells.  

If we have another freeze, it could be a bad peach season.

"You just have to hope you know that you don't get another late freezes it's all up to God."
 

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