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Smaller peach crop expected

Smaller peach crop expected



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BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) -- A cool start to the growing season is cutting into this year's peach crop in Box Elder County.

Brent Black, a fruit specialist for the Utah State University Extension Service, said spring frost continued through April and May and that was a tough start on the peaches.

"The ones that made it through should be very good quality, but there's going to be less fruit than usual," Black said.

Brigham City's Peach Festival Days annual celebration begins this week. Many of the county's peach farmers live near Willard, Perry and Brigham City.

Ralph Neilson, a peach farmer in Perry who runs a fruit stand, said the frost hurt some varieties, but he expected his harvest to be OK.

"They're a little bit later than usual, (but) they should be ripe in about a couple days," he said. "We have a good crop."

Mas Sumida, who also grows peaches in Perry, says early varieties like Reginas were hit hard by the frost. He estimated his Regina harvest was probably about 15 percent of what it usually is. He said later crops, like Albertas, weren't affected as much by the frosty spring.

He was hopeful for a good harvest of Albertas.

"We could still have wind or stuff like that," Sumida said. "Mother Nature is kind of unpredictable. We could always have a hail that would wipe us out."

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Information from: Standard-Examiner

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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