Frigid temperatures killing crops in Oklahoma

Posted at 10:20 PM, Apr 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-14 23:20:11-04

PORTER, Okla. -- Chilling temperatures are killing crops in Oklahoma and bringing major concerns for farmers.

Porter, Oklahoma is known as the peach capitol in the Sooner state. It's the home of Livesay Orchards where farming runs in the family.

"My brother and I have taken over now, we have sons either back at the farm or coming back to the farm soon," said Kent Livesay, owner of Livesay Orchards.

10,000 peach trees sit on 100 acres of land.

They are the main supplier for the annual Porter Peach Festival.

"It’s a big crowd and of course it’s the busiest day we have of the year," said Livesay.

This year's crop threatened by the frigid temperatures, already killing an estimated 70 percent of their crops.

"We may have been through a few more freeze events especially real late like this, this year," said Livesay.

You can tell if the peaches are growing or dead by looking at the color of the seed. If it’s green or yellow it’s okay, but if it has a dark center it’s dead.

"Usually we don’t suffer much damage until it gets down until 27 and another couple degrees makes a big difference," said Livesay.

A technique they use to combat the cold temps is having a helicopter over the crops to push the warm air down.

"Last Saturday morning we had strong winds so all the air, there wasn’t any warm air up above it was all mixed very well," said Livesay.

The Livesay family is not panicking about their supply yet, but a lot of weight lies on their shoulders as the July festival draws in crowds of thousands expecting their plump peaches.

"I don’t think it’s going to be too bad tonight, that would be four of them in a ten day period," said Livesay.

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