• Not the peaches! All this rain has taken a big toll on local farmers

    By: Berndt Petersen

    Updated:

    HALL COUNTY, Ga. - Recent heavy rain has beaten down the crops across parts of north and central Georgia.

    Peaches and vegetables have taken the worst of it.

    Farmers say the rain and hail have pelted the fruits and vegetables, knocking them off their branches and causing them to rot on the ground. 

    Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen looked in to just how big an impact the rain was having on Georgia growers.


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    Farmers in middle Georgia said they have lost up to 40 percent of their peach crop. The rain has also killed a lot of trees. 

    Peteresen spoke to farmers at Jaemor Farms in Hall County, where Drew Echols said they weren't hit as hard and expect an 80 percent harvest.

    Still, Echols said crews were having a hard time keeping up with collecting the fallen fruit. 

    "We've probably lost in the neighborhood of 300 to 400 peach trees out of 12,000," Echols said. "That's pretty substantial.  I'm hearing those same percentages all over middle Georgia and even up into South Carolina."

    Jaemor Farms usually gets around 48 inches of rain over the course of the year. So far this year, nearly 51 inches have already fallen with nearly five months to go. 

    Too much rain often causes trees to drop fruit, which then rots on the ground. Wet weather also allows weeds to grow out of control, which leads to more bugs. 

    Echols says they desperately need drier weather. 

    "When you keep getting pounded with rain, and those roots stay wet day after day, it eventually catches up to you and kills the tree." Echols said.

    The wet weather isn't just taking its toll on Georgia farms. Jaemor Farms orders other fruit and vegetable inventory from growers all over the southeast, but many of them have little to sell this year. 

    "Right here in the peak time of summer, cantaloupes in the Southeast -- there's none available."

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