Cold weather damages Georgia crops

Preliminary reports from around the state show most of the apple, peach, and blueberry crops were damaged in the below freezing temperatures that covered most of the state Easter weekend, says Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin.

“The apple and peach crops in north Georgia are wiped out,” says Irvin. “And middle to south Georgia may have 50 percent or less of the peach crop left.” North and southeast Georgia appear to have suffered more than the southwest, says Irvin.

“County agents in the blueberry area are saying that much of the current crop is damaged, some with an 80 to 90 percent loss,” Irvin says.

Pecan trees in southeast Georgia that looked to be setting up for a good crop were damaged by the freeze and frost, but growers won’t know to what extent until later.

Fruit and vegetable growers using frost protection will have to wait until the sun comes out to discover if they were able to save any of their crops.

“Very little corn and tobacco were in the ground, but most of the acreage that was up suffered heavy damage from the cold,” Irvin says. “What we’re hearing is that what was green is black.”

Irvin says it will be a couple of days before the extent of the damage to the state's crops start coming in.

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