By Clint Thompson
Florida’s peach producers are well underway in harvesting this year’s crop. The peaches this year are undersized, due mostly to the warm spring leading up to harvest, says Jose Chaparro, associate professor in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
“Down south in central Florida they’ve already been picking U-F Sun and U-F Best down there. They’ve already commenced,” Chaparro said. “The crop looks good. Sizes might be running a little bit smaller than normal because of the warm spring. All in all, there’s a pretty good crop. Up in North Florida, that December freeze that we had Christmas Eve morning, that thinned the crop quite a bit.
“Here in Gainesville, the December freeze damaged a lot of flower buds. All in all, we’re running a little bit smaller than normal.”
Chaparro estimates that growers in central Florida have been harvesting their peach crop for a couple of weeks. He believes this year’s harvest season will also not be as long this year.
“I’m expecting it to (finish) probably the second week of May. It’s a little bit earlier I think,” Chaparro said.