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Warm Weather a Concern For SC Peach Crop

6:19 PM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The warm weather we have seen this month may have been great for outdoor activities, but it may cause a problem for the peach crop.

Clemson Biologist, Dr. Douglas Bielenberg says peach trees need a certain amount of cold weather between November and the end of February to produce a successful crop.

Bielenberg says, "They use that cool period to let them know when Spring is here and so they hold their buds closed until enough cold is accumulated."

Peach trees need temperatures at or below 45 degrees for a specific amount of time or the crop will suffer.

Some trees need as little as a couple a hundred chill hours, while ours need over a thousand, if the tree does not recieve the required chill time it can lead to a big loses.

According Bielenberg,"They don't bloom or they don't bloom very well, they will spread out and be very slow and very late, and you may just completely miss the season."

Bielenberg says we are behind where we have been in past years, but the weather that we saw on Friday does help.

"We are a ways away from where we have been for the last few years with the cold, now this last week we have been catching up a bit, but it is still a ways behind and it will possibly cause us problems," says Bielenberg.

South Carolina peach growers harvest about 90,000 tons of peaches per year valued at 60 million dollars.

This puts the state as the second top producer of peaches in the United States behind California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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