One of the production issues that peach growers in Florida must contend with is plant-parasitic nematodes. One such species is the more recently discovered peach root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne floridensis, which is the subject of this 5-page publication. Written by Mary Ann D. Maquilan, Ali Sarkhosh, and Donald Dickson and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, July 2018.
This 6-page document provides basic information and guidelines on water requirements and irrigation strategies for peaches grown in Florida. Written by C. Zambrano-Vaca, L. Zotarelli, K. Migliaccio, R. Beeson Jr., K. Morgan, J. Chaparro, and M. Olmstead and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, April 2018.
While the Florida peach industry is small, it has experienced significant growth in recent years. This 20-page article written by Ariel Singerman, Marina Burani-Arouca, and Mercy Olmstead and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department summarizes the establishment and production costs as well as the potential profitability of a peach orchard in Florida. It includes an enterprise budget, estimates of potential revenue and undiscounted cash flows for different combinations of prices and yields, and an investment analysis. The information in this article should be relevant to both current and potential Florida peach growers.
Peach production in Florida is increasing in importance, and the peach industry is growing rapidly in the state, where the early harvest and early market window allow the prices for Florida peaches to be high compared to those received by producers in the other southeastern states. Reduction in peach production costs would allow Florida peach producers to increase their net revenues. This 7-page fact sheet describes a strategy for limiting water use for frost protection of peach trees in the winter to reduce producers’ costs, protect lakes and streams, and reinforce the public image of farmers as innovators and environmental stewards. Written by Tori Bradley, Tatiana Borisova, and Mercy Olmstead and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department.
Plums could be a potential crop for growers and homeowners in Florida and other mild winter areas throughout the Gulf coast, but many plum varieties will not grow well enough in Florida to produce fruit. In response to this need, the University of Florida has developed cultivars that improve the potential for growing plums in Florida. This twelve-page fact sheet provides information for growing plums in Florida including information about chilling hours, pollination and fruit set, fruit harvesting, yields, as well as information about the plum cultivars adapted to grow in Florida. Written by M. Olmstead, E.P. Miller, P.C. Andersen, and J.G. Williamson, and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
Subtropical peach production includes many practices, such as site selection, orchard design, and disease, weed, and insect management through to harvest. Florida’s subtropical climate allows growers to harvest their crops early, but it creates challenges for the long postharvest growing season. This 14-page fact sheet covers the breadth of topics related to subtropical peach production, including a monthly timeline of recommended practices. Written by M. Olmstead, J. Chaparro, J. G. Williamson, R. Rouse, R. Mizell, P. Harmon, and J. Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, August 2013.
Stone fruit production in Florida, specifically peaches (Prunus persica L.), has increased in acreage since the mid-2000s, predominantly driven by the desire to diversify agricultural operations. Although the National Agriculture Statistics Service does not keep annual production and acreage statistics for peaches because of the industry’s small size, a recent poll revealed just over 670 acres in Florida, with about 700 unreported acres (Table 1) (Morgan and Olmstead 2013). Statewide, current estimates of harvested peaches are approximately 4.5 million pounds, with a value of more than $6 million. Florida growers can take advantage of an early market window in which they produce the first domestic peach of the calendar year, commanding a high price per pound. The future of peach production in the state is very positive, and many growers continue to plant new orchards. This 12-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead and Kim Morgan, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, July 2013.
The University of Florida has developed high-quality, low-chilling, early-maturing peach and nectarine cultivars that can be grown from the panhandle of Florida to as far south as Immokalee. Low-chilling cultivars can grow and produce fruit under Florida conditions that are much warmer in winter than in northern states. Furthermore, ripening of these cultivars during April and May ensures an early spring market window for tree-ripe fresh fruit in Florida before peaches and nectarines from other southeastern states and California come to market. Both commercial and dooryard recommended varieties span the growing season. This 8-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead, Jose Chaparro, Pete Andersen, Jeff Williamson, and James Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, May 2013.
Rootstocks have been used in many tree fruit systems to provide growth advantages or pest or disease resistance without affecting productivity and fruit quality. In Florida, stone fruit are grown on rootstocks that specifically provide pest resistance to the peach root-knot nematode. Although several root-knot nematode-resistant rootstocks are available for stone fruit grown in other locations and climates, ‘Flordaguard’ peach rootstock is currently recommended for stone fruit production in Florida. This 5-page fact sheet was written by M. Olmstead, J. Chaparro, and J. Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, November 2012.
Proper weed management is important for a healthy peach orchard. Peach trees and weeds compete for water, nutrients, and light. And they serve as hosts for insects that cause catfacing and nematodes that carry viral diseases. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Peter J. Dittmar and Jeffrey G. Williamson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, January 2012.
Florida produces some of the earliest commercial-quality peaches and nectarines in North America. During the last 10 years, many new, improved peach and nectarine cultivars have been released by the University of Florida. They have increased the potential for expansion of commercial peach and nectarine acreage throughout much of the Florida peninsula and along the Gulf Coast regions of the southeastern United States. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead, Jeff Williamson, Jose Chaparro, and Tim Crocker, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2011.