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Georgia peach crop faces nearly 80% loss this year

Associated Press

Atlanta — Georgia’s peach crop is suffering much worse than expected after an overly warm winter and a hard freeze in early spring.

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday that nearly 80 percent of the state’s peach crop has been wiped out because of the weather.

Black says the lack of peaches could mean a shorter season for Georgia consumers. He says farmers probably won’t ship out of state.

Initially, farmers hoped to salvage about 70 percent of the crop.

The newspaper reports that the loss, combined with a blow to this year’s blueberry crop, could mean a $300 million hit to farmers.

The peach crop issue has been worse in neighboring South Carolina, where Black says he’s told more than 85 percent of the crop was lost.