Upstate peach growers prepare for big chill - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate peach growers prepare for big chill

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Upstate peach farms fear cooler temperatures as their crops begin to bloom. (April 22, 2012/FOX Carolina) Upstate peach farms fear cooler temperatures as their crops begin to bloom. (April 22, 2012/FOX Carolina)
CHESNEE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Taking a walk down the Jolley Farms peach orchard in Chesnee, Adrian Jolley notices something isn't right.

"These peaches should all be growing the same," he says. They're not - some peaches are a quarter the size of the larger ones, and are misshapen.

The weather so far this year has, to say the least, been strange on this season's peaches - something many growers weren't anticipating.

"(It's been) the lack of winter. Peaches do require some chilling hours before they'll set and bloom and make like they should. And we have some crops of peaches that don't have the crops that they should," Jolley says.

It's a delicate balance for farmers this year. It was too warm early on, and with the cold weather, it's throwing everything for a loop.

And even after the cold weather passes, it'll still be a few days before they know how the cold hit their crops.

"You won't know the amount of damage until a few days later when the fruit starts turning color," Jolley says.  "It'll be burnt from where the sun went through the frost, and acts like a magnifying glass, and it'll actually burn where the sun hits."

Jolley says the next few days are his biggest concern.

"You just gotta' pray, and pray some more," he says.

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