Biting into a fresh, juicy Carolina peach may be a rare experience this summer. Last week’s sudden freezing temperatures, which hit just after an unusually warm February sent peach trees into bloom early, has dealt a serious blow to one of South Carolina’s primary crops.
The S.C. Department of Agriculture reports that the state probably lost 85 to 90 percent of its peach crop. The Midland and South Carolina is the largest peach-producing state on the East Coast, second only to California. Its peach crop usually is worth about $90 million, with a $300 million impact on local economies, including 1,500 jobs.