Deep South freeze means fewer blueberries and peaches

Sam Van Aken
In this Monday, Aug. 3, 2015 photo, Sam Van Aken points out plum varieties on a tree at a nursery at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. Van Aken has stocked the campus nursery where he does his grafting with hard-to-find antique and heirloom varieties, some from an old research orchard. He has collected more than 40 varieties of plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and almonds he can graft on to his trees. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Last week’s deep freeze in the Southeast appears to have nearly wiped out Georgia’s blueberries and South Carolina’s peaches.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture said 85 percent of the state’s peaches were damaged by two days of temperatures dipping into the 20s Wednesday and Thursday.

South Carolina is the second biggest producer of peaches in the U.S.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black says up to 80 percent of the blueberry crop in the southern part of the state was destroyed.

Georgia grows early season blueberries and the crop is worth more than peaches.

Apples also suffered freeze damage in North Carolina.

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