Cold snaps mean a seasonal favorite will be limited and late - DatelineCarolina

Cold snaps mean a seasonal favorite will be limited and late

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Clark Forrest looks at peaches growing in his orchard Clark Forrest looks at peaches growing in his orchard
Peach trees in Dixie Belle Orchard are recovering from cold Peach trees in Dixie Belle Orchard are recovering from cold
By: Emily McDonnell
Clark Forrest and his family have grown peaches on the land now known as Dixie Belle Peaches for generations. Dixie Belle is one of the many peach orchards across an area called "The Ridge" that ranges from Saluda to Aiken.

The Ridge produces 20 percent of the state's peach crop. That number will be significantly lower this year.

"This tree could have up to five peaches on it right now and has zero. The reason is that they got cold and fell off," said Forrest.

The cold weather that came through in March killed most of the peaches that would be picked for May and June. Amy Howard-London is the director of the South Carolina Peach Council. She believes it will be a difficult season for peach farmers, but says they take precautions for times like this.

"It will impact their business but they are prepared for this by way of crop insurance, which they buy themselves. But that will keep them at least buoyant until next season," said Howard-London.

Forrest looks at the weather as just another element he has to deal with in his profession.

"It's part of the game. Sometimes you have cold weather that affects the peaches but that's the way it goes. Let's hope for a better year next year and you just have to work with the crop the good Lord gives you," Forrest said.

Peaches should be ripe and ready to pick by July.


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