Peaches Take Biggest Hit from Latest Freeze
KREX News Room
PALISADE, Colo.- After two consecutive nights of below freezing temperatures, local farmers once again found themselves assessing the damage imposed on their crops and orchards.
Temperatures Friday morning dropped to 25 degrees at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, a record for April 19th.
Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms in Palisade discovered that their peach orchards had received fairly significant damage, and he believes other Grand Valley farmers are in the same boat.
"The value of the Colorado peach crop in Mesa County is probably about $20 million, so you've evaporated $10 to $12 million of that," said Talbott. "Then, of course, there's all the people we employ and infrastructure that's supported by it. That rollover money goes away as well."
After last week's freezes, approximately 10-20% of peach buds had been eliminated, but today Talbott estimates 50-60% of peach crops are now dead for the season.
Most cherries and apricots had died from consecutive freezes last week.
Apples and pears have made it through it the freezing the storms relatively unscathed, said Talbott.
This week's winter system added on to an already poor crop season.
"Our bad crop years have been '89, '91, '97, and '99," said Talbott. "Hopefully we're not as weak as '99, but we're approaching it."