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Positive signs for upcoming Florida peach season
There are positive signs that the Florida peach season will be a good one this year. The moderate cold snap that the state experienced at the start of the year helped the trees prepare well for the upcoming season. Growers expect the start of the season to be close to the average in terms of timing.
"It looks as though we got enough chill hours in Florida this year, the best it's been for several years," said Steven Callaham of the Dundee Citrus Growers Association, who also represents the region's peach and blueberry growers. "It was not too cold this Winter, and yet the chill was at the right amount and came at the right time too. As a result, we are seeing a nice bloom and good fruit set. The season is expected to begin in the last week of March and peak in the second or third week in April, and we should see steady supplies through May."
Acreage is expected to not be significantly different to last year. "In terms of the state's acreage, there has not been much change over previous years," Callaham said. "There were some older trees that have been removed. But newer ones have been planted to replace them, so there has not been a net decrease or increase."
White flesh peach coming for next season
This year, there are no new varieties that will be presented from Florida. However, a new white flesh variety is currently being grown and will be ready for next year. "Some new varieties have recently been planted," Callaham said. "They will not be ready for this season but are expected to enter the market from next year. One of these will be a white flesh variety, which is very positive, as we have not had a good white flesh peach to market in Florida."
20lb bulk box
It's good news for the state's growers who have had a tough time this past year. The Florida peach season is positioned well to take advantage of a gap in supply in the transition from the Southern hemisphere season to the US domestic season. "Peach growers in Florida can enjoy the gap between seasons," Callaham noted. "It's a niche market that they can capitalize on to bring fresh peaches to US customers at a time of short supply."
"This year, we will continue to feature the 8lb single layer tray packs," he continued. "These are becoming increasingly popular. We also offer the standard 20lb bulk boxes which are designed for foodservice and schools."
For more information:
Dundee Citrus Growers Association
Tel: +1 (863) 439-1574
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