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How A Warm Winter Destroyed 85 Percent Of Georgia’s Peaches

2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. “We had fruit here in Georgia from the middle of May to about probably the first week of July, and after that we didn’t have anything else,” said Dario Chavez, an assistant professor in peach research and extension at the University of Georgia.1

As temperatures rise globally because of climate change, Georgia is not the only part of the country where warm winters are causing trouble for farmers. California’s cherry crop took a hit in 2014 because of a warm, dry winter. And in 2012, after a warm February and March brought early blooms, Michigan’s apple crop was decimated by an April frost. Farmers have always been at the mercy of the environment, but now agricultural catastrophes brought on by warm winters seem likely to occur with greater frequency. …

This post is from Features – FiveThirtyEight. Click here to read the full text

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