U.S.: South Carolina peach growers expect bright season ahead
South Carolina peach farmers are bullish on their crop production in 2016, due to favorable growing conditions despite last year's challenges.
Growers experienced heavy rains in the fall of last year which triggered a slow start to winter. They immediately began working on the upcoming season to set up ideal conditions for the spring and summer, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture said in a release.
"After a late start to winter, we now expect to accumulate more than enough of the necessary chill hours and are anticipating a normal bloom date in a few weeks," SC Peach Council president Matt Forrest was quoted as saying.
Growers saw an abnormally warm fall which could have potentially affected this crop. Peach trees require between 600-1,000 chill hours depending on their variety to overcome dormancy.
The weather has recently cooled down and these hours below 45°F are gradually mounting.
"Although we had a late start to our winter season, once the cold temperatures arrived, we have been in an excellent position to accumulate chill hours with very consistent temperatures and highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s," said Titan Farms president Chalmers Carr.
"We are well beyond chill hours necessary and look forward to a great spring leading into an even better peach season," he said.