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One Delaware farm says peaches are fine following colder spring weather

Delaware Public Media

A cold front that rolled through the First State at beginning of spring threatened Delaware’s peach crop, but one local farm says its peaches are blooming.




Spring temperatures can dip into the low-to-mid 20s at night in Delaware, so First State farms are always at risk of losing their peaches, which can’t bloom in colder weather. Spring temperatures this year reached as low as 22 degrees on Thursday, March 23 in Dover. 


But at Fifer Orchards in Camden, Bobby Fifer, one of the owners, said their peaches survived this year’s spring cold snap.


“The last two weeks of March were a little colder than normal and so that held them at bay so the blossoms didn’t open up,” Fifer said. 


Most farmers are concerned year after year about how colder temperatures could prevent their peaches from blooming.


“Once they start to come into bloom, they incrementally can take less and less cold weather starting when they’re just showing a little bit of a color all the way to an open blossom,” Fifer said.


Fifer said things were different at his family’s Camden-Wyoming farm this year. Peaches can reach full bloom in the last week of March, but since the month was colder than usual, they didn’t blossom.


“Had we had another couple days in the 70's we would’ve been in full bloom early,” Fifer said.


Fifer said that could’ve put the entire crop at risk when cold temperatures returned to start April.


When Fifer Orchards peaches are in full bloom, the farm can produce as many as 350 bushels of peaches per acre, which is about 21,000 pounds worth of peaches.