Peachless in Georgia

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If you go to Georgia, one thing you will quickly figure out is that it’s called “The Peach State”. It isn’t just a nickname. It is a big part of the state.  Georgia isn’t the biggest producer of peaches, but it’s among the top 4 states.

California – 620,000 tons

South Carolina – 60,800 tons

Georgia – 33,000 tons

New Jersey – 21,050

Source: http://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/fruits/peaches/

California produces 49 percent of the USA’s peaches. However, it’s the 3rd largest state in the USA. Georgia is a leading grower of peaches. And it has the climate for it. A state with a humid, subtropical climate with cool to mild winters and hot summers is climate that peaches can grow in. Peach crops are tolerant to frost. However, Georgia gets lesser amounts of cold weather compared to other regions in the USA, considering that it’s in the Southeastern USA.

This year, however, Georgia may not be a big leader in peach production. Why? WEATHER. For those who do not get the difference between weather and climate, a simple explanation. Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get. Watch the video below to get a better idea.

This is what happened. Georgia had one of its warmest winters ever. Apart from the ice storm that hit the Atlanta area on 6-7 January 2017, there are many days when high temperatures reached the upper 60s/low 70s. Temperatures dropping below freezing serves to prevent blooming from taking place. Unless there is a guarantee that no killing frost will take place, it is best not to have prolonged periods of warm weather in the winter. Georgia had these prolonged periods of warm weather, and then in early March, a freeze took place. This killed half of the state’s peach crops. The plants likely bloomed too early and were not given a chance to become full-grown peaches thanks to an early March freeze.

What impact will this have? Let us start with the price of peaches. Supply and demand applies to economics, and this can be affected by things such as geography and weather. Fewer peaches, but the demand remains the same, the prices goes up. Farmers will also be at a loss. Money will be lost because of the loss of product.

Weather is different from climate. What can be grown in a geographic area is often determined by climate. Weather, on the other hand, isn’t as certain.

Photo by WABE 90.1

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