Georgia peach grower Duke Lane III can’t say many good things about the quantity of peaches on his trees this year. His mood brightens noticeably when asked about the quality of the peaches he is harvesting, and it stays upbeat when he talks about the price that fruit brings.

Lane’s family operation isn’t alone. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said every grower in the state’s Peach Belt – an area centered around Fort Valley – suffered similar losses this year. For him, the bright spot is a growing group of peach orchards near Lula and Alto that are making a much larger crop. 

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