Peach Orchard a hard but Fruitful Business

July 18, 2006 -- Posted at 6:28 p.m. CDT

CAMPBELL, MO. -- You can't travel far in Campbell, Missouri without seeing some sign of pride in their peaches.

"We currently have 100 employees.  We have about 1,100 acres of peaches... about 850 acres are in production right now," said Cody Bader, Sales Manager for Bader Farms.

The peach production business involves a lot more than you might imagine.

"These are just fresh picked out of the field.  They ain't been off a tree for practically 15 minutes.  We're getting ready to run them through what we call a hydro-cooler which takes the heat out of them," said orchard owner Bill Bader.

The peaches at Bader Farms go through a two step wash process.  The first step cools the peaches down while the second step cleanses them of all their impurities.  After the second step, they go down a sorting belt where workers sort the peaches into two categories.

"The number two peach will have a little hail damage or a mark from where it rubbed up against the tree, and a number one is just a number one peach," said Cody Bader.

Weather plays an important role in how the peaches turn out.

"Earlier in the year, we probably had about half our crop thinned and we had a lot of hail damage," said Bader.

In addition to hail damage, the amount of rainfall, or lack thereof, can impact the size of the peach.

Bill Bader says that this year about 25% of their crop has been impacted by weather.

Even with having only 75% of their crop the business is going very well.  Tuesday afternoon the Bader's were preparing a shipment of peaches to Wisconsin.