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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Peach Varieties of Interest for the Southeastern U.S.

Authors
item Layne, D - CLEMSON
item Hitzler, E - CLEMSON
item Okie, William

Submitted to: National and Southeast Peach Convention Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2003
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Citation: Layne, D.R., Hitzler, E.J., Okie, W.R. 2004. Peach varieties of interest for the Southeastern U.S. National and Southeast Peach Convention Proceedings. p. 1-6.

Interpretive Summary: Choice of variety for a new peach orchard is not something that should be taken lightly. Because an orchard is a long-term investment, the grower should obtain as much information as possible to make a good decision that will result in profit. Can the variety be grown in my area? Is the cultivar is to be produced for a shipping market or a local, roadside market? Does the cultivar have any significant flaws? Does the variety have the genetic potential to produce sufficient volume of large-sized fruit for its season? Can it attain sufficient red color to satisfy the market demand? Does it ship well? Is it juicy and tasty? These are just some of the many questions one should ask. This paper presents the evaluation and testing of commercially available varieties and advanced selections of peach and nectarine for production suitability in South Carolina. Although our testing is at three different geographic sites in SC, these are not at your farm. The results presented herein represent a useful guide for selecting potential alternatives for varieties that are not performing adequately. As a guide, they are not a substitute for evaluation of different cultivars on your own farm. If you are considering new or different varieties to replace "standards", plant a small "test block" on your farm to evaluate different or new varieties for their local performance.

Technical Abstract: Selection of cultivars for a new peach orchard is not something that should be taken lightly. Because an orchard is a long-term investment, the grower should obtain as much information as possible to make a good decision that will result in profit. Many factors should be considered. Can the cultivar be grown in my area (i.e., based on chilling hours)? Is the cultivar is to be produced for a shipping market or a local, roadside market? Does the cultivar have any significant flaws (i.e., highly susceptible to bacteriosis or other diseases)? Does the cultivar have the genetic potential to produce sufficient volume of large-sized fruit for its season? Can it attain sufficient red color to satisfy the market demand? Does it ship well? Is it juicy and tasty? These are just some of the many questions one should ask. The paper presents the evaluation and testing of commercially available cultivars and advanced selections of peach and nectarine for production suitability in South Carolina. Although our testing is at three different geographic sites in SC, these are not at your farm. Performance of the cultivars and selections we tested in neighboring states may differ significantly depending on weather, pest and disease pressure, management practices, etc. The results presented herein represent a useful guide for selecting potential alternatives for cultivars that are not performing adequately. If you are considering new or different cultivars to replace "standards" , plant a small "test block" on your farm to evaluate different or new cultivars for their local performance. An ideal "test block" would include the "standards" considered for phasing out plus the new or different cultivars from the same ripening season considered for phasing in. In this way, you can confidently examine trees of the same age at the same location and evaluate consistency of cropping, bloom and ripe date, susceptibility to disease, fruit size, color, quality, and other attributes side-by-side. Such a "test block" should have at least 10 trees each of the cultivars to be compared and trees should be examined for several fruiting seasons.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014