(NewsNation) — Buying Georgia peaches this year may be challenging as farmers are facing a severe shortage.
University of Georgia researchers say about 90% of peach crops grown in the state have been destroyed by bad weather and a warming climate.
‘This is an unusual year, in terms of the severity of crop loss,” Lee Dickey, a co-owner of family-owned Dickey Farms, told NewsNation. “Those trees bloomed a little bit ahead of schedule. When we had the ‘March freeze,’ it just got us bad.”
Dickey said there’s always a “March freeze,” but this year, it was preceded by an “unseasonably warm February.”
Georgia’s peach harvesting season usually starts in early May and goes until August. There are more than 1 million peach trees in the state producing 30 million pounds of fruit each year. The last time Georgia’s peach harvest season was this bad was in 1955, nearly 70 years ago.
“It’s going to be a really tough year, but … it’s not something we’re backing down to. It certainly stings this year. We’ll be back at it next year,” Dickey said.
Dickey added that prices for peaches will likely be high.
“If consumers are looking for Georgia peaches, they’re really going to want to be paying attention in late June and early July. That’s when we’re going to have the most peaches.”