Peach crop suffers from bad weather

Posted: Jul 15, 2014 4:34 PM by Lauren Donovan, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Aug 6, 2014 2:54 PM

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BOONVILLE- Bruce Arnett, owner of Peach Tree Farms and other peach farmers around the state of Missouri are in the midst of one of the lowest crop yields in years.

Coming off two bumper years Arnett says he was fortunate enough to keep the orchard running for customers this summer.

As a retailer, Peach Tree Farms sells only to the public from a stand located on their property with a variety of different peaches, some proving more weather resistant than others. But, wholesale farmers around the state that cultivate only a few types of peaches are struggling.

"A lot of the friends I have in the peach business froze out entirely so we are fortunate to even have thirty percent of our crop", said Arnett.

This year Peach Tree Farms lost about seventy percent of its annual peach crop due to severe weather that freezes the buds before they are even able to bloom. Matters were only made worse after this past week's severe thunderstorm knocking over half a dozen more of Arnett's trees. This resulting in a short buying period for the peaches that the farm is able to sell.

"We might be running real hard for a week or two and then we may go for a week or two without getting a peach," he said.

Arnett also shared that because of the lack of local crop peaches are going to have to be imported to the state from the South. The State of Missouri is already tough on peach farmers so shoppers should expect inflated prices at the grocery store.

"On a year like this year, I am glad I have three thousand trees because its going to take five or six thousand trees to take care of my customers," said Arnett.

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