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updated: 6/9/2014 4:59 PM

Southern Illinois peach crop withstands winter

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  • Orchard worker Rufino Rosas works to thin peach trees Saturday at Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, Ill.

      Orchard worker Rufino Rosas works to thin peach trees Saturday at Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, Ill.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

ALTO PASS, Ill. -- Southern Illinois peach farmers say their crops have weathered the cold winter but harvests could be delayed.

Sonja Lallemand, an agriculture and natural resources educator with the University of Illinois, told the Southern Illinoisan that peaches planted farther north were affected by the unseasonably cool spring.

"We had certain times where the temperature was warming up and then it froze again," Lallemand said. "That means buds start moving, opening up and then we go into a freeze."

"We are very fortunate to have peaches," said Wayne Sirles, vice president of Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, adding that orchards further north have no fruit or a drastically reduced crop.

There likely will be a delay in harvesting peaches in the area.

Dale Bremer of Bremer Orchards in Metropolis says he might not start picking peaches until July. Last year his crop was ripe in early June.

Sirles expects the Rendleman Orchards crop to be later too.

"We should start with our early season peaches at the beginning of July, and things seem to be a little bit later this year, as with everything else due to the extended cold weather and late spring that we had," Sirles said. "So, we're looking at a week to 10 days later than usual."

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