HALL COUNTY, Ga. - It may be too hot and too dry for many of us right now, but Georgia fruit growers are loving it.
Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen traveled to Jaemor Farms in Hall County where they said the weather is perfect for their strawberry plants.
Last season those plants had rotten fruit on them. This season is the opposite.
Drew Echols’ family farm stretches across nearly 600 acres and 20 of them are really producing right now.
"The past five or six weeks, the strawberry season has turned out to be really good. Dry weather has been the key,” Echols said.
Every plant he showed was covered with one-third flowers, one-third ripening fruit and one-third ready-to-pick. It was quite different from when Channel 2 visited the farm a year ago.
“We picked strawberries most of last year with rubber boots on," Echols said.
All of the plants were swamped, and the fruit was rotting.
Growers all over the state took a similar hit.
“Strawberry season in 2018 was not very profitable. It rained week after week. Seemed like day after day,” Echols said.
And while that pattern continued all winter and early spring, Echols said the recent drying out came at precisely the right moment.
They used some irrigation on the strawberry fields when they needed to, but for growers in south, middle, and in north Georgia, the hot and dry weather turned out to be good and great.
“With any kind of fruit really, dry weather always makes the fruit taste better,” Echols said.
The dry spell is not only good for strawberries, it'll be great for Georgia peaches.
“This is shaping up to be one of the best crops we've ever had,” Echols said.
Echols believes it'll be the same for growers across the entire state.
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