For most of us, the frigid weather over Easter Weekend was just an inconvenience. We had to dress warmer at Sunrise service, or go indoors for such. For South Carolina farmers, the Easter Weekend was a disaster.
One peach farmer who is a friend told me he "lost everything." He went on to say, "Thank God for crop insurance, I will sure need it this year. My crop is gone."
Such is being reporting in the state's newspapers as pretty common place. Farmers around the state are lamenting the Easter Weekend cold snap and the damage it done to their crops. Have no doubt, that deep Easter freeze will be a blow to the South Carolina agriculture economy. While the final numbers are not yet in, all experts seem to point that the late cold snap, after unusually warm weather, will devastate the peach crop. Just in case you did not know, South Carolina is the second largest producer of peaches behind California in the United States. Yes, Georgia is called the "Peach State" but South Carolina produces more peaches.
Perhaps not this year. The deep freeze of Easter has dealt a severe blow to South Carolina peach growers, and other agriculture endeavors. It is one of the most devastating blows on record.
For now, that blow seems all but unrecognizable. But, come harvest time, when there are no peach picking or other type jobs and when peach farmers and other types of farmers are not bringing their crops to market, we will get a full measure of the hand Mother Nature dealt us.
Our farmers will be hurting. Such is the life they have chosen, some would say. But, nevertheless, it is worth noting that the weather changes we all take as inconvenient actually cost some of our fellow South Carolinians their livelihoods.
Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers and Governor Mark Sanford are both waiting on the final reports, according to news reports. But, those reports do not have to be waited upon for anyone with any common sense to determine South Carolina farmers, especially peach farmers, are going to have a bad year.
Here is hoping for seasonal weather, good rain and the like from here on out.