Contact Us

Disease Claiming Trees At State’s Largest Peach Orchard

The state’s top peach farmer may soon be out of business.

Joe Mitcham of Mitcham Farms, just outside Ruston, says he’s battling a soil disease that’s killing his trees.

“We’re down to about 20 percent of my trees — probably 2,000-2,200 in that range,” said Mitcham. “But the trees we have this year are in really good production.”

"I can’t meet the demand so I’m importing peaches from Alabama and Mississippi."

Mitcham says it’s the trees that spread the disease because it runs from the root system, and eventually healthy trees start to look like dead ones right next to it. He says because of the Armillaria mella fungus, he’s losing about 10 percent of his trees every year.

“I can’t meet the demand, so I’m importing peaches from Alabama and Mississippi,” said Mitcham.

Mitcham says the federal government banned a pesticide that was used to treat the diseased soil, and eventually his entire farm will be completely gone. Mitcham says there’s a company looking at a disease-resistant root stock.

“But they have to study this root stock several years before they can release it,” said Mitcham.

NEXT: INADEQUATE WATER MONITORING CITED IN BROUSSARD

More From KTDY

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://999ktdy.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 99.9 KTDY quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on 99.9 KTDY quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!