MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - When temperatures dropped below freezing last week, many fruit farmers feared they'd lose most, if not all, of their produce.
“When you go out and look and the ground’s froze, and there’s frost in the trees on the blooms," says Mike Reeves, Director of the Morgan County Ag Extension Office. “It can kill a bunch of them that way.”
Now that the sun has returned, so has the optimism for this year's yield.
“Overall, we might have lost 50% of the buds and blooms," says Reeves.
50% of peach blossoms may sound like a lot, but Reeves says only a couple blossoms can stay on each peach tree branch anyway, meaning farmers across the state shouldn't take too much of a hit.
“I would say overall it’s a full crop at this point," says Reeves.
Same thing for strawberries. Many were lost, but not the full season.
“Most growers will tell you, that they probably lost a lot of blooms. But they’re really ahead on strawberries. They’ll probably start picking here in a few days," he says.
According to a preliminary report filed by the Alabama Ag-Extension Office, blueberries took a major hit in Cullman County with the loss, "greater than originally thought," according to the report.
Up in Morgan County, at the Mims Blueberry farm, they outlasted the blast.
“It looks great, the blooms look really good, the leaves are coming out, and we think we’re going to be just fine," says Kimberly Mims, the co-owner of the farm.
Neither Mike or Kimberly did much to protect their crop, so you can either credit perfect timing, or as Mike put it, “Nothing we did, that’s totally in the hands of God."
Strawberry picking is slated to begin in just a few weeks, and peach harvesting will follow after.
Most blueberry farms begin their harvest in early July.
Thankfully, because the harvest wasn't decimated by the cold weather, Reeves believes you shouldn't see a big price difference at the grocery store.