Pam Knox, director of the UGA Weather Network and agricultural climatologist in the department of crop and soil sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, recently spoke with NPR about fruit farming methods to adapt to the shifting climate.
This year, January and February were very warm in Georgia. Knox explains that this isn’t great for peach trees.
“The peaches bloomed two or three weeks early, depending on the variety,” she said. “We went back into a cooler weather pattern in March, and we got two frosts two weekends in a row.”
These fluctuating patterns caused almost all of the commercial peaches in the state to freeze.
To adapt, Knox recommends growing varieties of crops.
“Try different varieties of the same crop,” she said. “You might grow an apple that has fewer chill hours than the previous apple that you’re growing.”