The morning of the 17th took a toll on the peach crop. We saw temps in the low twenties with very little wind. At this time, I estimate there may be 30 percent of a crop left. There are still three weeks left in which we can easily lose the rest, so we’ll wait until the fifteenth of April to give a more accurate estimate. Check back then for more farm news.
We have spent the last two weeks battling freezes. Seven of the last thirteen days have had freezing temperatures. Each freeze has cost us peaches, but we think there is still at least half a crop left. However, tonight we will go once again into the mid-twenties and there is another month left in which the crop could be hurt. Check back later for more farm news.
The peaches received damage last week, but there is still a good crop remaining. However, the weather forecast is for several mornings below freezing in the next few days. We have had several warm days this week and the blooms have advanced to a more critical stage. We can stand temps down to 28 for a short time, but mid twenties will probably wipe out the crop. Check back later for more farm news.
The first freeze threat for this year’s peach crop will be on the morning of the 4th. Forecasts predict possible mid-twenties and calm winds. We are close to full bloom, which is of course more typical for mid to late March. We have added a third wind machine this year, so hopefully it will provide some added protection. However, this only helps a few degrees. No method of freeze protection is foolproof. We are almost finished pruning and most of the fertilizer has been applied. So now it is wait and see, with a long time until April 15th, which means the freezes are usually over. Check back later for more peach news.
We are still pruning trees. It will probably take 3-4 more weeks to finish. This has been a fairly warm winter so there could be an early bloom. We would prefer a late bloom which would increase our chances to dodge late freezes. We’re hoping for a better crop than last year. Check back later for more peach news.
We have begun pruning our oldest apple trees and preparing land for new trees. Many of the apple trees are over 25 years old, so pruning them in December should not harm them. However, if you have backyard trees I would wait until February. We will plant 300 peach trees this winter and our goal is to change over to higher density plantings. This will require more intense management, but it will open doors for perhaps more mechanization for pruning and thinning. We are will need to cut labor expense in the future for farming to be profitable. Labor expense in peach farming is already very high, so the only answer will be to produce more bushels per acre while introducing labor reducing techniques. How successful this venture will be only time will tell. Check back later for more farm news.
We are opening June 15th with Rubiprince and Harvester. Supply will be light for a while. We hope to have cucs, squash, and sweet corn available within the next week. Next week will be more Harvester with Carolina Belle and Blazeprince coming in also. Peach season has arrived. We hope to see you soon.
The freeze of April 6th was detrimental to the peach crop. We are waiting for the fruit to grow some, so we can get a more accurate estimate of the damage. Some varieties were lost completely and most have received some degree of damage. There are areas in the orchard where a good crop remains, but my estimate at this time would predict 30-40 percent of a crop. The apples survived better with probably at least 80 percent of a crop. I will report a more accurate evaluation later.
The peach crop was damaged by temps in the 27 degree range this morning. The forecast is for another freeze on the 10th. I will update the situation after the next freeze event.
The warm winter has allowed us to get a good start on pruning, but the rains have made some places very soft and muddy. The ponds are full, so there should be adequate water for irrigating this summer. Our main concern at this time is cold hours. Peach trees require 800-1000 hours of temps below 45 degrees to complete dormancy. We were at about 200 hours until the last warm spell which negated these hours back to zero. We need 6 weeks of normal temps to get back on track. This could be a good break, because if we had reached those hours with a cold November we might be blooming now. Check back later for more farm news.