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Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 11:08am

Peach and Blueberry Crops Ready Sooner

The state's peach and blueberry farmers are watching their crops and hoping for just the right weather.
Duke Lane grows 24-hundred acres of peaches in Middle Georgia's Peach County. Recent freezing temperatures have put his crops ahead of schedule for chill hours. That's the amount of cold weather the fruit needs to break dormancy and flower. But once they have flowered, cold can become damaging.
"When peaches do start breaking and swelling and blooming and you start seeing leaves come out then maybe we'll be lucky enough and fortunate enough not to have any freezing. Certainly going to be some cold nights, but the thing that's been getting us is it's dropped down so low that things have actually just frozen."
Lane says back in 2007 a spring freeze wiped out most of his crop. Climate experts say peaches and blueberries could flower early if we have days with temperatures in the 70's.