A March freeze has destroyed nearly 90 per cent of the peach crop in Arkansas and South Carolina according to the state department of agriculture. South Carolina will have just 10 to 15 percent of its normal peach production in 2017. This marks the worst loss in 10 years since an Easter freeze of April 6 and 7, 2007.
Unusually warm February temperatures prodded the peaches into early bloom, which were then devastated by a March 18 frost, reported the Charlotte Observer. The peach crop is worth about $90 million.
“Peaches are a signature crop in South Carolina and this weather anomaly has devastated peach farmers,” said Hugh Weathers, South Carolina commissioner of Agriculture. “However, as South Carolina farmers have shown again and again, they are resilient and with the help of allied industry partners, they will survive this devastating blow.”