Peach growers are expecting an all-time bumper crop on the Western Slope, but there’s one problem | PostIndependent.com

Peach growers are expecting an all-time bumper crop on the Western Slope, but there’s one problem

Nancy Lofholm
The Colorado Sun
peach farm palisade colorado
Peach orchard workers Jaime Perez, left, and Luis Hernandez thin fruit from trees at Talbott Farms in Palisade. This work is typically done by bad weather, but this year conditions have been nearly perfect meaning culling must be done by hand.
Nancy Lofholm, Special to The Colorado Sun

The plink and plop of tiny green peaches hitting the ground at a Talbott Farms orchard is the sound of exceptionally good news for Colorado fruit lovers.

This season there have been no damaging freezes, no punishing winds and no bruising hail on the more than 500 acres of fruit trees at the Talbotts’ orchards above Palisade. The temperatures and moisture that favor a good fruit crop have lined up in perfect order and amounts since deep winter. The right weather cards have been dealt to the pollinating bees.

It has been that kind of a serendipitous season at nearly all the thousands of acres of peach trees growing on the Western Slope. Even the touchier fruits like apricots, pears and cherries have come through this nail-biting time of year largely unscathed except for some spotty hail damage. It is such a good year that apricots — the most damage-prone crop in the state – are expected to have a healthy yield. More years than not, apricots are totally wiped out.

This year has been so perfectly tailored for fruit production it seems as if farmers, rather than Mother Nature, are calling the shots.

“Yes, this is the best year. This is better than any other year here,” said Talbott Farms foreman Mario Moreno as the steady drum of walnut-sized green peaches plunked to the ground around his feet. Moreno has been tending to fruit crops around Palisade since 1996.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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