Peach freeze prompts Colorado governor to declare emergency


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Colorado’s governor announced he is seeking federal aid for farmers impacted by a freeze that wiped out significant portions of the state’s peach crop.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said he sought the aid as a result of an April 14 freeze in Colorado’s Western Slope region, The Daily Sentinel reported Saturday.

Polis and state Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg said in a statement they requested a Secretarial Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The emergency declaration enables farms to access assistance programs including loans with flexible repayment terms.

Peaches account for 75% of fruit production in the state, with the peach industry typically producing 17,000 tons (15,422 metric tons) of fruit with nearly $40 million in revenue, according to figures released by Polis.

Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms in Palisade said the freeze likely wiped out as much as 80% of normal production at the peach farm.

Dennis Clark of Clark Family Orchards, another peach grower in Palisade, believes relief assistance would help some businesses.