Farmers Say Crops Okay After Cold Morning

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The National Weather Service says that many areas around the Grand Valley saw record low temperatures Friday morning, forcing farmers in Palisade to work overtime to prevent their crops from freezing.

With overnight and early morning temperatures below thirty degrees, farmers say they had to take quick action to save their peaches.

"I think last night we ran almost all of our fans, at least for a little while," said Harry Talbott, a grower at Talbott Farms.

The wind fans that tower high over the orchards are their answer. The machines are designed to pull warmer air onto the peach trees in lower fields.

"We bring the warmer air into the orchard and the fan rotates about once every three minutes," said Talbott. "It circulates the air and keeps the buds from freezing."

Talbott says at first glance it looks like the fans did their job, but notes the only way to tell for sure is to look inside the peach blossoms. If the center of the baby peach inside is green, like his were, it means the fruit is alive and well.

But with cold temperatures expected again Friday night and into Saturday morning, Talbott says it's still too early to hang up his jacket.

"I think we're probably okay," said Talbott. "We're still not out of the woods and we'll have to watch the frost again tonight."

Even though he's pretty sure he'll have to turn the fans on again Friday night, Talbott says it's nothing to be worried about.

"Some years we'll run them six or eight times a year," said Talbott. "This will be our second night that we run."

He says despite the cold weather, Grand Valley residents and peach lovers across the country will still get to enjoy the Palisade peaches they've come to love.

"About one-hundred twenty days from now or a little less on some of the eariler varieties, we're going to have nice, juicy, Colorado peaches," said Talbott.

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