Although the past few days have been cold, it likely won’t be enough for Middle Georgia’s peach crop.
Feb. 15 is the traditional cutoff date for chill hours, which are the hours that temperatures fall below 45 degrees while peach trees are dormant.
Ideally, growers like to have about 1,000 hours. But based on weather forecasts, this season’s chill hour tally is looking to be about 750 hours or a little less. That will be enough for some varieties, but not others. It could have been worse had it not been for the past week being consistently cold.
Jeff Cook, county agent for Peach and Taylor counties, said measuring the impact of low chill hours is not an exact science. But based on what he is seeing, his best guess is that the overall crop value could be reduced 25 percent this year.