New York Field Offic

Fact Finders for Agriculture"

(518) 457-5570


Contact:  Marisa Reuber
Friday, July 11, 2008


Peach production in New York is forecast at 5,700 tons according to Stephen Ropel, Director of the USDA’S National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office.  The forecasted production, if realized, would be down 10 percent from last year’s level of 6,300 tons and down 19 percent from 2006.  A widespread June 16th hail storm prompted the Governor to request disaster assistance from USDA for 23 NY counties.  This hail storm hit the Lake Ontario fruit region and Hudson Valley hard.  Across the state, peaches hit by hail are not suitable for fresh market.  Orchards not affected by the hail storm reported that peach trees were heavy set, and a good crop is expected.  In the Hudson Valley, a couple orchards also experienced freezes during bloom. 

The July 2008 forecast of U.S. peach production is 1.10 million tons, down 3 percent from 2007 but 9 percent above the 2006 crop. Nineteen of the 28 Freestone peach estimating States expect increases in production from last year, while eight States decreased their production from the previous season, and one State showed no change. Freestone production, at 717,150 tons, is up 15 percent from last season.

The California Clingstone crop is forecast at 380,000 tons, equal to the June 1 forecast but 24 percent below the 2007 crop. California experienced an adequate number of chilling hours, thus benefitting the Clingstone crop. Weather during the bloom period was also favorable, however, unusually cold temperatures on April 19 and 20 resulted in significant frost damage. The largest impact was reported in the northern growing areas, with some growers reporting 100 percent damage. There were also a large number of growers reporting losses in the Modesto area. However, fruit in the southern growing areas was not affected. The 2008 peach harvest began in Kingsburg on June 18, four days later than last year. Quality was reported to be very good. The California Freestone crop is forecast at 430,000 tons, equal to the June 1 forecast but 4 percent below the 2007 crop. Weather during the bloom period was very accommodating, although cooler spring temperatures slowed maturity. The crop was reported to be of excellent quality, with good sizes. Harvest continued during June with July Flame, Sierra Rich, Ice Princess, Rich Lady, and Galaxy varieties being picked.

In 2007, devastating cold temperatures in early April damaged peach orchards in the Atlantic States from New York to Georgia with production in the southeastern States affected the most. Conditions have been more conducive to peach production thus far this season. The South Carolina peach crop, at 55,000 tons, is down 15 percent from the June 1 forecast but 42,500 tons above 2007. Conditions declined from the June 1 forecast with scattered hailstorms and drought-like conditions reported. Many peach producers reported a good crop, but some sustained damage from localized hailstorms. However, peach tree fruit set remained rather heavy and the potential for a good crop remained.

Georgia’s peach crop is forecast at 35,000 tons, equal to the June 1 forecast but 169 percent above the frost-damaged 2007 crop. Several days of freezing temperatures in late March and the first half of April damaged the crop. Losses were variable by varieties and orchard locations, but damage occurred mostly on early varieties across the State. Many areas, however, escaped the freeze and were expecting near normal production.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey showed production increases from a year ago at 19 percent and 6 percent, respectively.  Fruit set and overall conditions were reported as good in both States.