With the unusually cold weather, many people are wondering what's happening to the peach crop this year.
Jim Kamas, our local expert with Texas Agrilife Extension, has recorded weather data for the past 9 years. He revealed at the Hill Country Fruit Grower's meeting this past Tuesday that we've had the coldest winter in 9 years. In fact, by February 4th we had already gotten 900 hours of chilling weather. This more than fulfills the chilling requirement for peaches to break out of dormancy and bloom.
- I snapped this photo from last week's wild weather. -
My sister, Kristen, took this picture yesterday evening. Tuesday these apricot buds were closed. Wednesday the temperature got just warm enough that they were almost 100% open. This morning we woke up in the 20's. All of these variables mean that we will not have an apricot crop this summer because the very sensitive buds were frozen in the cold weather.
Now, we are still 5-6 weeks out from securing the 2015 crop and a lot can happen. Because the Texas Hill Country has had so much cold weather, the fruit buds have swollen and are ready to break and bloom. As soon as the temperature raises, they will do so and quickly! Easter weekend is typically the last weekend of a hard freeze.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that we don't have another spell of 20 degree weather after a period of warming up! If we don't, we anticipate a crop even better than last year!