From Lancaster Farming
Helicopter Needed to Save Peach Crop From the Cold
The acres of peaches at Bennett Orchards barely survived a cold snap that sent the mercury below freezing last month.
Temperatures dipped to 28 degrees as dawn broke on April 17, cold enough to damage the tender peach and nectarine buds that will become this year’s crop. If the cold kills the buds, the trees will be undamaged, but this year’s peaches will never develop. After a very warm winter that caused spring flowers and buds to open early, the cold snap moved in and the still morning temperatures fell even lower than expected.
The Bennett family was forced to bring in a helicopter to fly over the orchards, causing the air to circulate and helping keep the temperature from falling any further. Still air and cloud cover are a perfect recipe for cold temperatures, especially near dawn, often the coldest part of a day. After a very close call, Henry Bennett said the orchards at the farm escaped damage and this year’s crop appears to have not been impacted.