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State

Southern Illinois peach crop withstands winter

ALTO PASS – Southern Illinois peach farmers say their crops have weathered the cold winter but harvest may be delayed.

Rendleman Orchards vice president Wayne Sirles says other peach farmers north of Interstate 64 have "frozen out of peaches or have a drastically reduced crop." Rendleman Orchards is in Alto Pass, south of the interstate.

Sonja Lallemand is an agriculture and natural resources educator with the University of Illinois. She tells the Southern Illinoisan (http://bit.ly/1uKr18W ) that peaches planted farther north were affected by the unseasonably cool spring. She says the "temperature was warming up and then it froze again."

There likely will be a delay harvesting peaches. Dale Bremer of Bremer Orchards in Metropolis says he might not start picking peaches until July. Last year his crop was ripe in early June.

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