Wet Summer Slows Apple, Peach Crops - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Wet Summer Slows Apple, Peach Crops

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The apple and peach blossoms at Shade Tree Farm in Robertson County were stunted by cold temperatures in the spring. The apple and peach blossoms at Shade Tree Farm in Robertson County were stunted by cold temperatures in the spring.
Farmer Tom Head said all the recent rain has been difficult on his crops. Farmer Tom Head said all the recent rain has been difficult on his crops.
All the recent precipitation has made it difficult to keep pesticides on fruit crops. All the recent precipitation has made it difficult to keep pesticides on fruit crops.

by Chris Conte

ADAMS, Tenn. - An unusually wet summer across much of Middle Tennessee has slowed the growth of both apple and peach crops.

Tom Head owns 400 apple and peach trees at Shade Tree Farm, just outside Adams in Robertson County.

"I've been on this farm since1983," said Head. "There's always some kind of issue. You never know what the new challenge is going to be for that year."

He said last year's crop was hurt by too much sun. This year's crop has been getting too much moisture.

"Some of these apples have bitter rot. This year has been too much rain across the board," said Head. "When you have too much rain, the environment for fungus to grow is warm temperatures and high humidity - and we've had that."

The 59-year-old farmer has sprayed for fungus and bugs. Days of drenching downpours have meant the insecticides have not been as effective as they should be.

"You see the June bugs are eating (the crop)," said Head. "Some are falling of the trees."

There were some cold snaps at the beginning of the season, stunting the growth of some budding apples blossoms.

Head showed several trees that had very few apples in them. He said it wasn't a problem, but put the fruit behind by a couple weeks.

"Growing fruit in the South is a challenge because of the heat and the humidity," said Head. "Anything can happen."

The challenges never end, which is why he said his work is never done.

The lifelong farmer still has plenty of apples and peaches he'll be able to harvest but he believes more than likely his crops are close to three weeks behind schedule.

Email: cconte@newschannel5.com 

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