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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Plentiful peaches

Friday, July 6, 2012

(Photo)
Employees Nick Brideley and Justine Hulshof sort and pack peaches for sale at Diebold Orchards in Benton. The mild winter and early spring have made for an early crop of peaches. Local orchard owners said they've been picking peaches since the end of May and beginning of June.
(Photo by Leonna Heuring, Staff)
Peaches are peaking a month early in SE Mo.

leonnah@standard-democrat.com

SIKESTON -- A mild winter and early spring have created a plentiful peach crop in Southeast Missouri as some varieties have been available for over a month now.

"The peaches that we're picking right now we usually pick toward the end of July so we're about three or four weeks early," said Janet Johns, who runs her family's business, Cates Orchard in Dudley.

Fruits and vegetables being ready to pick a week early or a week late is not unheard of, but nearly a month early is rare, Johns said.

"My dad is 92, and he's never seen it like this," Johns said.

Johns' family has operated the Stoddard County orchard since the late 1950s.

"What we're picking right now are Redhavens and Early Lorings. We're starting on Lorings, which we usually pick the third our fourth week of July," Johns said.

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