Georgia is welcoming a healthy supply of its peaches this season.
“We’ve got a good supply of peaches right now. We’re packing every day and we have a big week this week with Memorial Day ads. Business is brisk and orders are brisk and peaches are flowing well,” says Will McGehee with Genuine Georgia in Fort Valley, GA. “We have a plentiful crop.”
This good-sized crop comes after last year’s more-than-bumper crop of Georgia peaches. “We don’t quite have what we had last year—we don’t see those very often,” says McGehee. This year’s good crop comes after not only enough cold hours in the winter to foster the crop but also avoiding March weather events. “You’re always dodging the freeze and we didn’t have it this year,” he adds.
McGehee does say that the peaches are only slightly smaller than last year. “We had a hot March and when the temperature is hotter than normal, it will affect the size a little bit,” says McGehee. “But it’s only slight. Last year was also a good crop for size and quantity and this year’s sizing is more normal. Last year was exceptional.”
Strong demand as well
Meanwhile demand for Georgia peaches, which began about a week ago and will continue until the end of August, has also been good. “Demand was the big unknown for us,” says McGehee. “Everyone’s been anxious as to what the market is going to be. Peaches are a soft fruit and can’t be stored for months and months like apples. You’re just concerned about the perishable nature of the peach and it’s been a brisk first week. The demand has been through the roof.”
Demand may also be somewhat stronger given Colorado’s significant crop loss following a frost near the end of last month. “Typically, Colorado peaches come on for the back end of the season so we’re expecting most folks to stay with us all the way to the end,” says McGehee.
Meanwhile all of this has left prices to look similar to last year at this time. “We’re trying to keep things normal and keep peaches affordable and not take advantage of the situation,” he says.
Looking ahead, he also sees demand staying steady for peaches.