8.28.14: Michigan peach crop suffers after harsh winter
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan peach farmers are harvesting a significantly smaller crop than usual this year after an especially severe winter.
The U.S. Agriculture Department forecasts that the state’s crop will be down about 50 percent from last year. Extreme cold wiped out most peach buds in Macomb, Oakland and Lapeer counties last winter.
The state harvested 41 million pounds of peaches in 2013. The USDA projects Michigan will drop from the fourth to the eighth state in the nation for peach farming this year, with 20 million pounds of the fruit.
A Michigan State University Extension fruit educator says it’s been decades since the losses were so bad. He says not one of the 60 peach growers in his area have peaches.