Peach state lives up to its name this year with plentiful harvest

On Wednesday, Southern Belle Farm in McDonough will be opening their u-pick peaches for the season. Farmers have told FOX 5 this is one of the best seasons they've had after losing much of their peach crops the last few seasons.

In fact, last year, Southern Belle staff said they lost almost 90% of their peaches after a late freeze in the spring.

"We can't provide that peach experience in the summer if we don't have peaches, so we're really excited this year just to revamp that and bring people back out this year," Daniel Welliver of Southern Bell Farm said.

"Once the peaches are there, those are the ones you're gonna have that year, so if you do lose them in a cold event, then they're gone for the season," he added.

The difference this year was a cooler winter.

"We didn't have any of those 80 degree days in February, so peaches kind of stayed dormant. They broke dormancy normally, they didn't come out really early," UGA Extension Agent Jeff Cook said. "Last year, we were probably two weeks early because of February being unseasonably warm."

Cook estimated last year's March cold snap took out nearly 95% of peaches across the state.

"This is gonna be a good rebounding year not just for the farmers but everybody around the peach industry," Cook explained.

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With rows of peach trees ready to be picked, the staff at Southern Belle Farm hopes this year is a sign of more plentiful harvests to come.

"We've learned a lot of things over the years, but we always hope that we have a good crop and hope certainly this trend continues with the good Peach Season we're gonna have," Welliver said.