Georgia, South Carolina peaches ready for early harvest

Ripe for the picking

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An early peach harvest has arrived in Georgia and South Carolina after warm, dry winter and spring months.

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Peaches overload baskets at Good Earth Produce in Augusta on Tuesday, May 15. Peaches are hitting the stands a few weeks before a normal year as farmers predicted they would because of the warm winter and spring.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Peaches overload baskets at Good Earth Produce in Augusta on Tuesday, May 15. Peaches are hitting the stands a few weeks before a normal year as farmers predicted they would because of the warm winter and spring.

Duke Lane Jr., the president of Lane Southern Orchards near Fort Valley, Ga., said the peach harvest began May 3, about nine days before the average start date.

“We’re busy picking and packing. I think we’re going to realize by mid-July to the first week of August that the crop’s going to be short,” Lane said.

Lane estimated his farm will pack and ship about 550,000 boxes containing 25 pounds of peaches each. That number’s about 200,000 boxes below his normal mark for a good season.

Across the two states, farmers said that ripe peaches are smaller than normal but that the taste hasn’t been compromised by warm weather.

“They taste wonderful; sweet, very sweet. The size is not so good,” said Sonny Yonce III, of J.W. Yonce & Sons in Johnston, S.C.

Though it’s likely the later varieties will grow larger, Yonce said he fears the size could hurt his profits. Smaller peaches are not “hot sellers” and the low demand lowers prices, he said.

As of May 10, South Carolina had shipped 131 tractor-trailer loads of peaches, said Desmond Layne, a horticulturist and peach specialist at Clemson University. At the same time last year, 106 loads were shipped.

Layne said the prices should hold steady for farmers across the Southeast because crops in other peach-growing states were damaged by freezes or hailstorms. California, the largest peach-producing state, has shipped a small volume so far this year, he said.

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Retired Army
17512
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Retired Army 05/15/12 - 09:02 pm
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A small day trip to Johnston

A small day trip to Johnston tommorrow, maybe? Peach cobbler and vanilla bean ice cream tommorrow evening? life is good.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 05/15/12 - 09:39 pm
1
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Agreeing twice in one week, R

Agreeing twice in one week, R A, which one of us is mellowing?
Oh well, you got good taste in peaches and parenting. Now , if we can just work on those "demotics".

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/15/12 - 10:57 pm
2
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Willow, just checked the

Willow, just checked the pantry. I gots Bisquik, salted butter, sugar and cinamon.

Wednesday is senior day at Krogers. Ice cream at a discount. There is a plan here.

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 05/16/12 - 06:57 am
0
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Support your local growers
Unpublished

Support your local growers while their product is available!

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 05/16/12 - 09:23 am
0
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Me either, soapy. Give me a

Me either, soapy. Give me a Georgia or Carolina lopsided peach with a worm whole any day.

R A , I smell cobbler. Who would have ever suspected you for a Southerner?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 05/16/12 - 10:29 am
0
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Sounds like flavorwise,

Sounds like flavorwise, everything will be peachy.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 05/16/12 - 10:41 am
1
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I would love some home made

I would love some home made peach ice cream like my grandmother used to make when we were kids. We would work out in the garden picking peas, cutting okra then she would make that homemade peach ice cream with the old hand style churn, she would put the ice around it and the salt, throw a towel over it and us kids would take turns churning......it was so gooood....now those were the days:)

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