Ill. peach harvest looks steady despite storm -

Ill. peach harvest looks steady despite storm

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After dodging spring freezes and weathering May storms, Illinois peach growers say they're satisfied with their early harvests.

The state's growers turned out 8,730 tons of peaches last year, down from 11,370 tons in 2006. But that's still better than the freeze-decimated output of just 100 tons in 2007.

Neighboring Missouri produced about 6,100 tons last year, up from just 15 tons during the dismal 2007 season.

As of late April, Illinois growers were expected to produce more than 12,200 tons this year, up 40 percent from the year before. The National Peach Council says Missouri peach orchards were expected to yield about 6,200 tons, a 2 percent increase.

But those forecasts don't take into account the May storms that raked southern Illinois. Foul weather may have cut into the harvest in more than 40 states that together produced 1.1 million tons of peaches last year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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