Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Updated damage reports from Southeast freeze last week

While many farmers are still assessing just how bad the freeze last week was on their fruit crops, WunderBlog has produced some updated information that does not paint a good picture of the impacts on this year’s harvest.

According to their report, “At least 90 percent of the peach crop in South Carolina (the nation’s top peach producer behind California) was wiped out by freezing temperatures late last week, according to the state’s agriculture commissioner. The state’s wheat and corn fields also suffered heavy damage, reported WISTV. A less severe freeze in Georgia may have ruined anywhere from 25 to 75 percent of that state’s peach crop. Blueberries across the Southeast also experienced major damage, as summarized by Louisville, KY, broadcast meteorologist John Belski. It dropped to 25°F in Gainesville, FL, on Thursday morning, the coldest reading for so late in the year in more than a century of Gainesville records. Jacksonville’s 28°F was also a record for so late in the year.”

You can read more about this and also see a look into coming increases in severe weather at https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/tornado-risk-amping-up-this-week-and-beyond. Another article from AP is also available at http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4b994210cec34a028fe3bb746437fd59/deep-south-freeze-means-fewer-blueberries-and-peaches

Blueberry frost damage. Source: USDA ARS