Winter's effect on Colorado's peaches

The frost slightly affected the peaches, and apples, pears and grapes were damaged by the spring frost.

KUSA - The crazy Colorado winter we had may have had an effect on your lawn, and it’s also proving to have had an effect on fruit crops on the western slope.

We talked to Bruce Talbott, with Talbott’s Mountain Gold, in Palisade back in February.  He said the main concern for his crops this winter, was the temperature swings – going from warm and dry, to freezing in a matter of days.  When the temperatures are warm in the winter, Talbott said the crops get tricked into thinking its spring and start to bud.

We reached back out to Mr. Talbott on Wednesday, to see how his crops were doing. He told us his farm is about half way through the cherry harvest, quality is good, but the volume of fruit is down. The very early peaches will start next week, but they’re likely only going to be seen at fruit stands and farmers markets.

Bruce says he expects the peach crop to be about 85 perent of capacity for Mesa County, and in Delta County – it will be much lighter. He says the fruit crops – including apples, pears, and grapes were damaged by the spring frost.  The frost also slightly affected the peaches.

In Texas, it’s a totally different story. According to our affiliate, KVUE in Austin, the mild winter has resulted in a smaller amount of trees producing peaches. The trees need at least one month of very cold weather, so they can go dormant, however, that didn’t happen this year – so there are fewer peaches.  To compare, Talbott tells us most varieties of peaches need 700-900 ‘chill hours’ and peaches grown in Colorado receive about 2,000.

Even though there are fewer peaches in Texas this year, the peaches that have grown are sweeter. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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