Ayers: ‘Too early to tell’ on fruit tree damage
With last week’s freezing temperatures dropping even into south Georgia, a freeze advisory to fruit orchardists and the general public was issued by state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.
Black said the two nights of extreme cold for mid-March (21 – 23) “could easily equate to hundreds of millions of dollar in consequences for many of our fruit and vegetable farmers.”
In Gilmer County, Eddie Ayers of the Gilmer Extension Service told the Times-Courier it’s “too early to tell right now.”
“I have talked to some growers ... (and) it did not get as cold as expected, and they are hopeful that damage is minimal,” he said on Thursday of last week.
“Most of them feel that the apples were not as far along, therefore might not have as much damage. Peaches were blooming good and there is concern that damage is possible.
“It will take some time to know if there is any damage.”
Ayers noted a freeze is not always the worst that can happen.
“Keep in mind that the fruit crops need thinning, so minimal damage might not be a total loss,” he said.