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Peach shortage at Oklahoma's Livesay Orchards because of 2021 freezes

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 10:22:23-04

PORTER, Okla. — Porter peaches are in season, but shoppers may have a hard time finding them in stores.

Oklahoma's largest peach orchard, Livesay Orchards, is experiencing a shortage because of February’s winter storm and the late April freeze.

Typically, farmers at Livesay Orchards harvest anywhere from 2 to 4 different varieties of peaches at any given period during the season. This year, customers will have their chance at one or maybe two peach variations.

“It’s definitely not as many peaches as we’d like to have. It's a decent amount to supply our store here on the farm. It just mainly means we won’t be having any peaches in grocery stores or at any other people’s businesses this year, as much as we normally would,” Kyle Livesay said.

The last significant freeze he remembers was in 2018, then the one in 1996, and the one before that was in 1974.

Peach trees begin budding in the fall and have to survive all winter before being harvested in the summer.

“There’s a potential for injury for a very long period of time,” Livesay said. "That's why we are a very diverse farm. If the peaches don’t make it good one year, we can make it through with one of our other crops.”

The farmers of Livesay Orchards navigate the financial impact of the peach shortage by selling produce at their on-site store. Peaches that survived the freezes are available there only.

Supply allows their store to be open twice a week: Wednesdays and Saturdays. They hope to expand that schedule in July and August.

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