Things are not peachy at Cooper County??s Peachtree Farm this summer. Peach Tree Farm owner Bruce Arnett is doing all he can to keep up with the demand for his peaches. He only has about 30% of his crops this year. Most of the buds that bloomed on his peach trees last fall froze during the winter. He has some trees that made it through subzero temperatures.
Arnett said, ??We??ve got some varieties that are cold hardy that did real well. We are going to go through a period this summer where we have a lot of peaches. We??ll have about five weeks of that.??
Arnett predicts he will also have a 5 week period this summer where he has virtually nothing. Last year, workers harvested more than 140,000 pounds of peaches at Peachtree Farm. This year, they say they will be lucky to have 35,000 pounds. Recent storms also knocked down several of Arnett??s trees.
Arnett said, ??We??re just coming off 2 of the best years that we ever had in our lives. In 25 years, my last two years have been barn busters. You can??t get a bumper crop every year. 30% is kind of an uplift for me.??
Arnett sells his peaches at his farm and local farmer??s markets at retail prices. He wants his customers to be patient. He hopes to have plenty for sale within the next 2 weeks.
Arnett said Missouri wholesale peach farmers are struggling because they grow fewer varieties of the fruit.