Weatherford Democrat

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April 16, 2014

Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

Growers confident this week’s round of near-freezing came too late to damage crops

(Continued)

So far, Loggins reported, his crop looks pretty good, and he hopes to harvest one to two bushels per tree.

“It’s hard to estimate because you never know what’s going to happen,” he hedged.

Green estimates that two bushels per tree are normal in a “good year,” which equates to 7,000 to 8,000 bushels for the entirety of Parker County.

“I believe there are 45 to 50 acres of orchard in the county,” Green said. “There are thousands of trees.”

If, by chance, the peaches have been damaged, all will become clear in a few days, Green said, when the fruit starts to shrivel and fall off.

But if, as expected, they have not, it looks like a good crop, he said. Trees, which got some rain last fall, are covered with fruit and will need to be thinned so the remaining peaches can reach optimum size.

The March freeze hit during the tight-bud stage, when peach trees had not yet bloomed, Green said, unlike March of 2013, when back-to-back nights in the 20s downed most of the crop,

“Some trees were still in the bloom stage,” he explained. “We had a few peaches last year, but it wiped out a large percent. This [weather event] was mild.”

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