Despite drought, Georgia peaches are growing nicely
FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Approaching rain clouds are typically a big plus for farmers. Seeing as Middle Georgia is in a moderate drought, you may think that closing that rainfall gap is the number one concern for Georgia’s peach farmers.
Not so, says Duke Lane Jr., president of Lane Southern Orchards.
“We’ve really had a sufficient amount of rain, particularly here at the end of the season, to make the varieties, to make them big, and at the same time to not overload us where it’s so much rain that the taste if affected.”
He’s already seen enough rainfall to make a good crop. You can see the moisture just below the ground’s surface.
Here’s something you may not know: while a drought can be a bad thing for farmers, peaches — Georgia’s staple fruit — don’t need a large amount of rain to grow well.
Here’s how it works: peaches are sold by size. The bigger the peach, the more money Lane Southern Orchards gets. However, too much rain causes the peaches to get too big. The sugar content becomes diluted, and the peaches don’t taste as good.
Not a problem this summer, however.
“You see [our] peaches are the size of a baseball or bigger. So they’re not going to pay us if we swell them up as big as a cantaloupe, you know what I mean?” jokes Lane Jr.
According to him, the optimal amount of rain would be around an inch in a day, and then five or six hot and dry days in a row.