BUMPER PEACH CROP EXPECTED FOR STATE
Alabama's 2004 peach crop may be one of the state's best in recent history.
|Most Alabama peach farmers, like Marvin Helms of Jackson County, are enjoying a bountiful harvest this year. Plenty of rain and a warm spring contributed to the estimated 31 million pounds of peaches that should be harvested in the state this year.|
The Alabama Agricultural Statistical Office forecasts orchards in the state will produce 31 million pounds of peaches this year, the largest since 1965 when the state harvest totaled 35 million pounds.
The record for Alabama was set in 1941 when farmers harvested a whopping 113.2 million pounds of peaches.
Last year's crop was hit by a late-March freeze, and total production was only 9 million pounds. The 10-year average production for the state is about 17 million pounds.
Peach harvest in the state began around May 10 and is now in full swing. Harvest will continue through Labor Day. Currently, Alabama ranks ninth in U.S. peach production.
Prices are generally low, mainly because of the large supply, and consequently, some peaches may go unharvested in Alabama. Visit the website BuyLocalAlabama.com to find farmers markets, roadside stands and U-pick operations selling fresh fruits and vegetables, including peaches, grown by Alabama farmers.