I hope that everyone has had a great start to their harvest season! We are just finishing thinning up here in Citra, FL – just before pit hardening on TropicBeauty, and in plenty of time in our higher-chill unit requiring varieties like UFSharp. Just in case you wanted to know how many peaches you should take off on a mature tree – see below:
I have had a few growers send me some images of skin disorders showing up during the harvest period but we are unsure of what might be causing it. My first guess with the first image below would be damage due to thrips early in the season, or perhaps a chemical burn from a spray earlier in the season. With the image on the bottom, there was some discussion among the postharvest physiologists here in the department about inking on the peach skin that turned necrotic and resulted in skin damage.
For more information on skin disorders, see the chapter on Skin Discolorations from the Southeastern Peach Management Guide: http://www.ent.uga.edu/peach/peachhbk/harvest/postharvest.pdf.
We also had one report on split pits showing up in some fruit – which has mainly a genetic component, but can be affected by large crop sizes and rapid fruit enlargement. For more information on Split Pits: http://www.ent.uga.edu/peach/peachhbk/harvest/splitpit.pdf.
If you see anything unusual this year, please let me know and we will figure out how to prevent these disorders from happening next year!
My thanks to those who have sent pictures – which are great examples of issues that come up in peach production.
Travel to C. Florida
I’m also going to be traveling to C. Florida (down as far as Lake Wales) sometime towards the end of April for site visits – please let me know if you would like some on-site help and maybe we can have a small get together of several growers.