'A total loss,' Farmer says he lost 99 percent of crops because of recent cold
Galivants Ferry, S.C. (WPDE) —
Monday was the start of spring and some people enjoy going to the farmers market as a spring time ritual.
But though the temperatures are warmer now, last week's cold snap might mean some farmers won't be selling at farmers markets this year.
While some farmers will be able to re-plant, and some didn't suffer as much as others, Ernest Jones is calling this season a total loss.
Jones owns Paul Jones Produce. He grows a variety of produce, but his specialty is peaches and plums. He lost 99 percent of his crops, he said.
"It's the worst year I've ever seen," he said.
Jones isn't alone; The South Carolina Department of Agriculture said 85 percent of the states peaches were damaged because of the freezing temperatures last week. South Carolina is the second largest producer of peaches in the U.S.
The warm weather before the freezing temperatures meant he had an early bloom, Jones said.
"They blossom in different stages. So you have peaches at different stages, not just one variety, but this year they all pretty much had blossoms on them and that's what made it worse this year than normal," he said.
Since the peach and plum trees had all already blossomed, he lost almost everything he had worked all year to tend to, Jones said.
"You can't make a living selling produce. You can make a living selling peaches and plums, something people don't mess with because it's so hard to grow and hard to mess with. Having peach trees and having plum trees is like having a baby in a nursery," he said.
When you rely on mother nature, you'll have good years and bad ones, this is just a bad one, Jones said. The bad year, will have a financial impact on him.
"You wouldn't want to go to work next week and make of what you made this week, would you?" he said.
Jones said he's probably going to miss out on tens of thousands of dollars this year because he lost so many crops. Despite the loss, Jones is staying positive.
"I'm going to just pick up the pieces and just dust it off and just go on with life and just hope for a better day," he said.