Deep freeze wiped out majority of SC's peach crop

Farmers in South Carolina are dealing with devastation after a deep freeze destroyed crops across the state.

FORT MILL, S.C. -- The numbers are in from South Carolina, and last week's freeze destroyed 85- to 90% of the state's peach crop. 

The Department of Agriculture says it'll severely limit the amount of fresh, local peaches that are available for you to buy this year.

Almost nothing is left of the peach trees at Springs Farm in Fort Mill.

"I've been all over our orchards," Ron Edwards said. "Looks like 80% of our crop is gone."

The state's Department of Agriculture says the warm winter months opened the blooms ahead of schedule, leaving them more vulnerable if a late freeze occurred.

"The open blossoms like we had, they just can't take it," Edwards said.

As hard as the peaches were hit, the strawberry crop survived. Sam Hall at Bush N Vine says he was prepared for the worst but relieved with the result.

"Picking red strawberries after a week ago it was 18 degrees ago?" Hall said. "That's something to be thankful for."

For his strawberries to be this far ahead of schedule, Hall says this year is unlike any other.

"There are some you can compare to that are similar, but definitely nothing like this," Hall said.

Back in 2007, a freeze in April destroyed nearly 100% of the state's peach crop. Edwards remembers that all too well.

"Definitely going to be a different summer in the fruit industry."

The Department of Agriculture said if they're not able to get as many peaches from South Carolina they'll pull some from their neighbors to the south in Georgia or even from as far away as California.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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