Falling temperatures test Colorado peach farmers

Photo: Peach Orchard (iStock)It’s going to be a long night for one western Colorado peach grower.

Temperatures on the Western Slope could drop below freezing and damage the young peaches that are just appearing on trees now.

High Country Orchards in Palisade has wind machines in place to help keep their trees from getting too cold.

"We will be up all night long, sort of like having a new baby," Owner Theresa High says. "And we’ll be watching the temperatures."

As soon as the temperatures start to drop to 32 degrees, High says they'll be ready to turn on those wind machines on and watch them until sunrise.

High says just a few degrees can make the difference between a healthy crop -- and big losses.

"And it can happen really quick," High says. "45 minutes at 29-30 degrees will definitely do some major damage."

The farm typically ships about 700,000 pounds of Palisade peaches to stores along the Front Range and in Utah.

They also grow wine grapes, but High says the grapes will not be hurt by this week’s weather.