Good News For NJ Peach Lovers
You might not have noticed, but it’s happening all across the Garden State – peach trees are being planted.
"Planting more trees is a healthy sign for the New Jersey peach industry,” says the Chairman of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, Santo John Maccherone.
He points out that peach trees, first planted in the 1600s, have thrived in New Jersey's ideal soil and climate, yielding extraordinary fruit to the benefit of both growers and consumers.
Maccherone says with a trend toward increased prices, there will certainly be a corresponding increase in tree planting. Data collected by the New Jersey Agricultural Statistics Service shows the 2012 season average price was 66-cents per pound, 5-cents per pound higher than the previous year.
"We see some definite positive changes in our peach industry, as acreage has recently increased to meet the demand for tree-ripened locally grown Jersey fresh peaches,” according to Rutgers professor emeritus and former agricultural agent specializing in fruit, Jerry Frecon.
He says many new plantings are designed to extend the season by a couple weeks both early and late, from late June through the end of September, because we don't have the cold winters we used to, which enables growers to worry less about buds freezing and allows for growing some high-quality bud-tender.
Growing Season Improved From Last Year
According to US Department of Agriculture statistics, the growing season thus far has been behaving well for peaches, unlike the 2012 season, when high temperatures in February forced an early bloom in April.
The New Jersey Peach Promotional Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State.
New Jersey is the fourth largest peach producing state in the country.