Financial Loss Greater than Expected for Peach Crop
KREX News Room
PALISADE, Colo. Now that peach production is underway in the Grand Valley, farmers are getting a better idea of how damaging two spring frosts were to the crops. They originally anticipated a 50 percent crop, estimating a loss of $5 million. A local farmer believes the financial impact is more than double.
At the Talbott's Mountain Gold production facility, farm manager Bruce Talbott said, "Instead of running eight to 10 hours a day, we are running four to six. As far as loss in peach value it's between 10 to 15 million. Of course you've got all the people that didn't work this summer and aren't working this harvest. That money would've been spent in the community as well."
Farmers say there's typically 600 seasonal workers, and estimate there's only 300 now.
"Just talking to the different businesses around town, several of them have commented that they really are having a slow year this year," said Talbott.
Local business's like Speedy's, "We serve burritos, burgers, fried foods, comfort foods," said owner and operator Troy Riches.
In their third year, this summer was the toughest.
"Well, it's just like a roller coaster, one day it's good one day it's not. It just depends. Just not all that many people in town," said Riches.
However, both businesses are staying positive
"The bright side is we do have probably a little under half a crop, which is a lot better than no crop at all," said Talbott.
"Come eat at Speedy's, great food fast!" said Riches.
Farmers say the ultimate goal is to break even this year, but they aren't sure that will happen.
On a positive note, officials say there will be plenty of peaches at this year's Palisade Peach Festival.