East Texas farmers hurting from extreme weather changes - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas farmers hurting from extreme weather changes

Louis Duffield goes through peaches he had to buy from out of the area (Source: KTRE Staff) Louis Duffield goes through peaches he had to buy from out of the area (Source: KTRE Staff)
Source: His peach trees sit empty until next year (Source: KTRE Staff) Source: His peach trees sit empty until next year (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

East Texas farmers are having a hard time getting proper crop production.

Louis Duffifled has been in charge of Stoney Brook Farm for the past 26 years. Duffielfd believes the last three years have been the most challenging. Duffield is known by many in the area as having the best peaches. He can be found twice a week at the Nacogdoches Farmer's market selling his peaches and canned jelly.

This year however, the peaches are missing. Duffield had a failed crop

"Each variety of peaches require a certain amount of chilling hours," Duffield said. "If they do not get that amount of chilling hours, then they will not produce fruit. We had a warm winter and the frost came late this year."

Duffield said he has also lost several trees from disease over the past several years.

"This is about the worst I have seen it over my years here," Duffield said.

To help make up the difference, Duffield has started growing berries and plans on expanding his operations to where it will take over some of his peach production.

"I will never have as many peaches as I have had in the past," Duffield said. "We are doing pretty good with [berries]. We are satisfied where we are at. It is a learning curve with those also."

Duffield is hopeful next year his farm will be able to bring back his signature fruit, but he is also aware that farming is not easy.

"Peaches are difficult to grow in the most ideal situation," Duffield said. "We seem to be getting these extremes now from drought to too much water instead of a consistency we are looking for. We are just not getting that now."

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