Ridge Spring, S.C. (WJBF)- Covering your plants is something we often say to do when it’s this cold out. And if you’re a peach farmer, the concern grows as the temperatures drop.
With this week’s freezing temperatures, many people are worried about the peaches, which started blooming in February. But the good news is, the farmers say everything is gonna be alright.
“I would say don’t be worried,” smiled Jason Rodgers, Chief Operating Officer of Farming Operations at Titan Farms.
When temps drop below freezing, people begin to get concerned about farmer’s crops and possible food shortages.
But Rodgers explained that these temperatures aren’t low enough to be worried about.
“Temperatures that would concern us now are the low 20’s. If there was an event where you had 20 degrees, 15 degrees, that would be a concern. But 30 degrees is not. It’s just a couple degrees below freezing and you’ve got all the micro climates that are in the different fields,” he said.
Right now, some peach fields are in beautiful full bloom and others have the blooms falling off and baby peaches beginning to emerge.
Rodgers tells NewsChannel 6 the peaches are more protected at these stages than they would be if a freeze came much later.
“As the bloom develops, obviously the peach is inside of that bloom. And so it goes through a process from bloom, to shuck split to shuck off. And so, that shuck, as I showed you, is essentially the blanket for that peach,” Rodgers said.
A twig might get 5 peach blossoms on it, each producing a peach. Once the threat of a freeze is over farmers will remove a lot of the tiny peaches to prevent the trees from becoming over loaded. So, even if some of the peaches die because of the cold, Rodgers said there’s still nothing to worry about.
“We have not thinned out crop yet. And so we still have, with the weather that we’ve had, the crop that’s setting, we still have the potential for a full crop. So, the weather that has been forecasted, we’re not seeing that opportunity for a major freeze. So we’re excited about that,” he said.
Rodgers said that because of the large expanse of the peach farms, if temperatures did dip low enough to cause a problem, not much could be done to save them.
But, the good news is there is really nothing to worry about despite the cold. You can expect to start seeing peaches at stands and in stores in May.