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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Variety Selection: So Many Wonderful Choices - How Do I Begin?

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

Submitted to: Southeastern Regional Peach Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2004
Publication Date: May 1, 2004
Citation: Layne, D., Hitzler, E., Okie, W.R. 2004. Variety selection: so many wonderful choices - how do i begin?. Southeastern Regional Peach Newsletter. 4(2):2-11.

Interpretive Summary: Selection of varieties 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 long-term profit. Many factors should be considered. Can the variety be grown in the area (i.e., based on chilling hours)? Can the variety reliably crop from year to year? Is the variety to be shipped to a distant market or sold at a local roadside market? iv. Does the variety have any significant flaws (i.e., highly susceptible to bacteriosis or other diseases)? 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? Is it juicy and tasty? Are you looking to develop a niche market (i.e., white flesh peaches for Asian consumers in nearby city)? Are you willing to pay extra to purchase "patented" varieties? These are just some of the many questions one should ask. This article 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, performance in other neighboring states may differ significantly depending on weather, pest and disease pressure, and management practices.

Technical Abstract: Cultivar selection 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 long-term profit. Many factors should be considered: i.) Can the variety be grown in the area (i.e., based on chilling hours)? ii.) Can the variety reliably crop from year to year? iii.) Is the variety to be shipped to a distant market or sold at a local roadside market? iv.) Does the variety have any significant flaws (i.e., highly susceptible to bacteriosis or other diseases)? v.) Does the variety have the genetic potential to produce sufficient volume of large-sized fruit for its season? vi.) Can it attain sufficient red color to satisfy the market demand? vii.) Is it juicy and tasty? viii.) Are you looking to develop a niche market (i.e., white flesh peaches for Asian consumers in nearby city)? ix.) Are you willing to pay extra to purchase "patented" varieties? These are just some of the many questions one should ask. This article is based on research funded by the SC Peach Council and 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, performance in other neighboring states may differ significantly depending on weather, pest and disease pressure, management practices, etc.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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