Fall Peach Roundtable
I hope that everyone has registered for the fall Peach Roundtable, to be held at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. It will be held on September 17th, 2015, from 8:45 am – 3:00 pm, and lunch will be provided. We will have a trade show with multiple vendors, which is a great opportunity to stay in touch and see new products and haggle prices! Gary England and the central Florida Peach Extension Team has put an extended day of talks and opportunities for feedback from our growers.
Peach Marketing Order Hearing
Another marketing order hearing will be held at the Fall Peach Roundtable on September 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. If you can’t attend the workshop, but would like to provide input, please attend to make yourself heard. Chris Denmark will attend from FDACS in Tallahassee to answer any and all questions.
This will be one of two more opportunities to provide feedback on the final document that will go out to vote, most likely in January, 2016 to be implemented in April – May, 2016.
I’ve had a few e-mails and phone calls about inking on peach fruit harvested in the past two weeks. Clemson University has a good publication with pointers to avoid inking – although I have to say, we do not know what causes inking on fruit surfaces.
One cause may the rainfall that we have had – which may have washed chemicals onto the fruit that have high amounts of metals (including micronutrients!). Also, precipitation/overirrigating near harvest can increase the water pressure (turgor) in cells, but this also makes them more vulnerable to abrasion damage during harvest/transportation and then anthocyanin accumulates causing what we know as “inking” in spots.
Here is a link to the article from Clemson: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/horticulture/fruit_vegetable/peach/diseases/inking.html
Research from California indicate that not only do some chemicals with high metal contents have higher incidences of inking, but so does abrasions on the skin surface. These might be from harvesting, wind damage, or abrasions in harvesting.
A couple of culprits that might have been issues this year may be Imidan and Elite (tebuconazole), although with Elite, I am watching my own research orchard, as this was my last spray on Saturday. However, we are very far behind everyone else in the throes of harvest and are about 2-3 weeks away from harvest, so we may not see much inking on the skin surface.
Steps to Avoid Inking:
- Near harvest, choose chemical applications carefully.
- These chemicals have high metal contents –
- Foliar nutrients: Micro Plex (Fe)
Insecticides: Imidan (Al), Delegate (Al)
Miticides: Vendex (Fe and Al), Acramite (Fe and Al), Omite (Al)
Fungicides: Elite (AL)
- Don’t apply foliar micronutrients within approximately 21 days of harvest to avoid having metals on the fruit surface (e.g., copper, iron, aluminum) that have been implicated in inking.
- Check the pH of your irrigation/spray water. Water with acidic characteristics (<6.5) can exacerbate inking due to increased iron availability.
- Don’t overwater near harvest, as this can damage cells in the skin and cause anthocyanin accumulation, leading to inking symptoms.
- With orchards that have a history of inking, leave harvested fruit in cooler for 48h prior to packing to observe inking symptoms; remove before packing.
As always, call or email me with questions!
As you all know, I have been trying to get a Florida Peach Growers Association up and running. Phil Rucks has taken the reins to investigate the possibility of getting a Statewide Marketing Order for peaches that will help to provide resources for marketing and research.
There must be two public hearings before a vote can go to the growers in the state; and the first one will be on May 12th, 2015 at the next Peach Roundtable to be held in Dade City at 10:00 AM at the Pasco County Extension Office, 36702 State Road 52, Dade City, FL 33525.
The second public hearing will be on Wednesday May 20th, 2015 at 2:00 PM at the Polk County Extension office in the Stuart Center, 1702 Highway 17 S, Bartow, FL 33831.
I hope that you will be able to attend – and Phil would like the name of anyone that is willing to serve on the advisory committee for the marketing order. See Phil’s email for more information. I am also attaching the paperwork that is needed to re-establish the Florida Peach Growers’ Association.
In addition, two contacts at FDACS for marketing orders are:
Marshall Wiseheart – 850-410-2290
Milton Rains – 352-406-0707.
Hope to see you there!
The first shipments of U.S. stone fruit including peaches and nectarines from Idaho, Oregon and Washington arrived in Australia this year. An article in the Fruit Growers News tells the details: http://fruitgrowersnews.com/index.php/efgn/entry/australia-opens-borders-to-u.s.-stone-fruit-efgn-october-2013.
This is great news for our growers focused on early production and working with western U.S. fruit marketing entities. With an estimate of $50 million over the next 5 years, this news is a great boon to growers here in the U.S. The article doesn’t specify if the peaches being sent are melting or non-melting flesh, but it would be great to do an export test to see which ones hold up better during transit and at the consumer end for quality.
In my opinion – “a rising tide lifts all boats”.
I was just reminded that this month is National Peach month by a great article written by UF/IFAS Extension’s own Christine Kelly-Begazo in the TCPalm Newspaper (http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/aug/15/august-is-national-peach-month-enjoy-florida-peach/).
The largest peach that was ever grown weighed in at 25.6 ounces and was produced in Coloma, Michigan! The designation of August as National Peach month coincides with the largest production of peaches in the United States coming from both the east coast and the west coast.
Florida kicks everything off in late March and early April from orchards as far south as the Immokalee area. Many of the grocery stores have made room for our flavorful, tree-ripe product and promote “Fresh from Florida“. Some have even featured growers in the state on their marketing, which is very refreshing to see. We get to see the growers that work hard every day to bring a premium product to the marketplace and creates a connection between the consumer and producer.
As we increase the acreage and production of Florida peaches, we are seeing more product throughout Southeastern grocery stores. There has been fantastic response to the product, with consumers realizing fruit quality and flavor is as important as size and appearance. Research conducted by the National Peach Council found that if a consumer has a bad eating experience it takes about 2 weeks for them to try peaches again. Coincidentally, a new variety has probably rotated in by that point with differing fruit characteristics.
We all need to let consumers know that peaches from the U.S. are available in April, and they are from Florida!