SC peach crop faces more than 85 percent loss this year - FOX Carolina 21

SC peach crop faces more than 85 percent loss this year

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Peaches (Wikimedia) Peaches (Wikimedia)

South Carolina's peach crop is in danger after an overly warm winter and a hard freeze in early spring.

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( ) Tuesday that more than 85 percent of South Carolina's peach crop has been wiped out because of the weather. 

Black says the lack of peaches could mean a shorter season for consumers, and that farmers probably won't ship out of state.

The loss could be a big blow to farmers' pockets, as well.

Drew Francis is a produce buyer sales representative with Francis Produce. He said farmers are hoping the crop recovers from the hard freeze earlier this year.

"The freeze in April was really detrimental to some of the earlier variety of peaches," said Francis. "We're looking to rebound hopefully by July when some of the later varieties start to come in."

Francis said that by July, about 25% of the full peach crop will be in. He said there won't be many available, but they'll be a decent size.

He noted that all fruit is fragile, and you have to have good growing conditions and optimal care for a successful crop.

"For a good peach you need cool evenings," said Francis. "We hope Mother Nature cooperates next month."

This week, Francis Produce will have squash, zucchini and grape tomatoes. Egg plant, tomatoes, cherries and bell peppers are on the way.

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Copyright 2017 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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