Wrecked peach crop means local farmers are having to import frui - | WBTV Charlotte

Wrecked peach crop means local farmers are having to import fruit

(Steve Crump | WBTV) (Steve Crump | WBTV)

Filbert, South Carolina, is a community well-known for growing its own peaches. But these days, Sam Hall is having to rely on outside shipments as a way of keeping his shelves full at the Bush-N-Vine.

"We probably lost about 70 to 80 percent of our crop," he said.

Just up Highway 321, Lawson Brackett faces the same issue.

All you have to do look is look behind her business, The Peach Tree, where deep scars are easily seen from man's battle against nature. A frost back in March meant that far too many blossoms across York County would die and never make it to market.

"You've got to be thankful for what you got, and it could be a whole lot worse, " Brackett said. "We could have lost all of our peach crops."

Twenty-nine miles from Filbert is the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. It appears to offer a harvest of plenty, but upon closer inspection, you see that just a few baskets of peaches take up space on one table.

Amie Newsome, who manages the market, expects a price increase for the furry fruit.

"There's so much high demand and they have such a small crop that you're gonna have to pay a little bit more this year," she said.

Back at the Bush-N-Vine, Hall isn't writing off this year's crop just yet. He's expecting things to turn around.

"July is looking good. August is looking good. We're already starting to pick freestones," Hall said.

A smaller-than-expected crop is also impacting the number of seasonal fruit pickers that are hired, as well as drivers who move the produce to the markets.

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