Cold winter, warm spring, early Georgia peaches

The harvest began early, news nearly as sweet to Middle Georgia’s peach industry as its product.

Thanks to a cold winter and a warm, early spring, area growers began picking the state’s signature crop over the weekend -- more than a week earlier than is typical.

“We started this weekend. We’re in full blast,” said state Rep. Robert Dickey Jr., owner of Dickey Farms.

“It’s one of the earliest times the Middle Georgia area has ever started, but we like that.”

Representatives of Lane Southern Orchards, Pearson Farm and Dickey Farms all credited extended chill time followed by a fast bloom for the early crop.

“It all started with the cold winter, which is the first thing that has to happen for the leaves to develop. We had one of the coldest winters on record, which is a good thing,” said Duke Lane Jr., president of Lane Southern Orchards.

“Warm weather had us blooming. Before you know it, the leaves were out.”

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