April is make or break for peach crops

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PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO) -- Right now, peaches trees in the Grand Valley are coming out of hibernation, and the next few weeks will define this year's crop.

Farmer Charlie Talbott said a lot of work goes into nursing a peach orchard through the spring, but as he gears up for the season, he is optimistic about what this years crop will bring.

April is a make-it or break-it month. The trees are in a hardy stage now but will become more volatile in the month ahead when chilly nights could bring harsh frosts.

"Our main method of frost protection lies in our wind machines; they are fans on towers that are 30-35 feet in the air, and they rotate every 5-6 minutes, constantly pushing warm air from above to purge out the cold air that settles on the orchard floor," said Talbott.

Blooms are expected in mid-April, but if temperatures drop below 29 degrees, the flowers could freeze and have serious negative effects on crop output.

According to Talbott, May 10 is the latest frost on record, and he said if his trees make it until then, he's in the clear.

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