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Peaches in peril

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A soil-borne fungus is prematurely killing peach trees throughout farms in the South, including at Mitcham’s Peach Orchard in Ruston.

The deadly fungus is responsible for the mortality of peach trees, resulting in a national annual loss of $5 million, according to the International Society for Horticulture Science.
Once word of the dying trees spread locally, rumors began to circulate, said Debbie Otwell, sales manager at Mitcham’s Peach Orchard Peach Store.

“The first week that the word got out, it was like it was the end of the world,” she said. “The phone rang and rang.”

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