The harvest has been fine so far for fruit producers this season, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Dr. Larry Stein, AgriLife Extension fruit specialist, Uvalde, said late freezes, spring storms and heavy rains have not negatively affected most orchards and warm-season fruit varieties this season. Peach and blackberry producers around the state have been reporting above-average yields and quality.
“The freezes thinned some early varieties, but the late-producing varieties still needed thinning,” he said. “The crop looks good.”
Peach growers in the Hill Country region began harvesting in May and later-producing varieties are typically available through August, Stein said. Harvest of varieties in North and East Texas is in full swing, and peaches should be available at local markets through Labor Day.
Stein said high moisture levels required growers be vigilant regarding fungal and bacterial diseases, but there were no reports of major losses attributed to outbreaks. Some orchards reported heavy stinkbug infestations, which required more attention than is typical.
This season is shaping up as a good one for consumers as wells, Stein said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service reported peaches in the South Central U.S., which includes Texas, were comparable to last year.
Retail prices were $1.56-$2.98 per pound compared to $1.95-$2.99 per pound in 2018, according to the service’s June reports.