Governor Nikki Haley visited J. W. Yonce and Sons Monday morning of this week and was briefed by Mr. Larry Yonce in regard to the crop loss for 2014 precipitated by the late cold snap of March 26th. Governor Haley was accompanied by Senator Shane Massey and Secretary of Agriculture Hugh Weatherman. Mr. Yonce escorted the Governor to an orchard in close proximity to the packing plant and pointed out the complete absence of fruit on the early variety of peach trees. He pointed out that these early variety peaches lost for the season. The Governor’s party then moved on to an orchard composed of later variety fruit. The trees in the second orchard were filled with peaches in early stages of development supporting J. W, Yonce and Sons optimistic projection that there will be South Carolina Peaches from the end of June through August. Larry was not hesitant to point out that the later peach varieties were, “go home and change your shirt delicious.”
Following a visit to the packing plant and receipt of a description of plant operations by Josh Yonce the Governor returned to the first orchard for a press conference. Senator Shane Massey commented that it is important for people to know that the industry is open for business. “South Carolinians can help the peach farmers of our state overcome the loss caused by the weather by buying South Carolina certified fruit. Ask the store operators where the South Carolina Peaches are and tell them you prefer certified South Carolina fruit,” declared the Governor.
So, just how severe will the approximately 30 % loss of peaches this season? According to Larry Yonce it’s like the football coach says, “We will know after the season.”