Some Texas growers expect good harvest of peaches despite heavy spring rains

IndustriesAssociated Press

Some Texas growers are expecting a plentiful peach harvest in spite of heavy spring rain and flooding that left some fields impassable.

Horticulturist Larry Stein with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service said that the crop in general has fared well statewide, particularly in North Texas and the Hill Country, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Telegram (http://bit.ly/1G9BUnN ) reported.

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"It is a fantastic season," said John Doak, who has grown peaches for nearly 40 years at his farm. "The fruit has a good size, great flavor and nice color."

Doak said he didn't need to irrigate his crops for the first time in years due to the spring and early summer rains.

At Hutton Fruit Farm outside Weatherford, the rain diluted the flavor of some of the earlier peach varieties, but the latest batch is sweet and juicy, said owner Gary Hutton.

The rain helped the peaches' growth, but grass and weeds as well. In the spring, muddy fields prevented farmers from thinning the trees, which is necessary for maintaining a healthy crop.

"The rain helped and hurt, but we now have a very good crop," Hutton said. "We expect to pick a whole lot of peaches in the next three weeks."

The summer fruit will arrive just in time for the Parker County Peach Festival on Saturday that's expected to draw more than 30,000 people to downtown Weatherford. Among the food selections that attendees can sample are fried peach pie, homemade peach ice cream and peach salsa.

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Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com