Peach farmers talk shortage at the Chattanooga Market


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Peaches made the Chattanooga Market that much sweeter.

On Sunday, many people showed up for the peaches festival at the market. This, as many farms are dealing with shortages.

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It didn’t take long for Hazelrig Peaches to sell out at the Chattanooga Market Sunday.

“Probably within an hour and a half I guess,” said Mike Hazelrig.

Peaches have long been a popular southern treat.

But, this year they’re not selling out just because of the public’s love for the sweet fruit.

Mike Hazelrig owns a farm in Cleveland, Alabama.

And like many farms, he says, they’re facing a short supply.

“The drought last year it caused the buds not to form. The buds form in the fall every year. So that drought just started you know working on them then. We didn’t get enough chilling hours this year and then we had a late frost,” Hazelrig explains.

Fitzgerald Fruit Farms is based out of Middle Georgia.

Their Farmers Market Director Alexander Makarov says they weren’t hit as hard.

“We had about 20 percent which is significant, but doesn’t really impact us like say Dickey’s, Lane, Taylor, Pearson – the other Georgia peach farms that loss close to 80 percent of their crop.” Makarov says.

Makarov says they really just lucked out this year

“South Carolina got hit even harder. They lost about 95 percent of their crop,” he added.

As for Hazelrig, he says they generally sell peaches through September.

But this year, because of the short supply and rain it’s looking like that might not happen.