FORT VALLEY, Ga. (AP) -- Middle Georgia peach growers have begun harvesting their crops a little earlier than usual.
State Rep. Robert Dickey Jr., owner of Dickey Farms, says the harvest began last weekend. He says it's among the earliest peach harvests ever for the region.
Growers credit extended chill time followed by a fast bloom for the early crop.
Middle Georgia's peach growers also avoided major environmental threats. There were no late freezes, and the severe weather that swept through portions of the South largely missed the groves in Peach and Crawford counties.
Duke Lane, president of Lane Southern Orchards, says relatively dry weather this spring has led to a sweeter, if somewhat smaller, peach than usual.
Growers expressed concern over continued dry weather, which could affect varieties that ripen later in the season.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)