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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Spring Freeze Damage to the 1996 Peach Crop in the Southeastern United States

item Okie, William
item Reighard, G - CLEMSON UNIV., CLEMSON,SC
item Graham, C - N. LOUISIANA EXPT. STA.
item Werner, D - NC STATE UNIV., RALEIGH
item Powell, A - AUBURN UNIV., AL
item Beckman, Thomas

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: In 1966 the southeastern peach crop was severely damaged due to a series of severe freezes in February, March and April. Overall production was only 5-10 percent of normal, causing severe economic losses to growers. Climatic conditions across the region are described, as well as production records for major peach and nectarine varieties. Only a few varieties consistently produced even partial crops across the region.

Technical Abstract: The 1966 peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] crop in the southeastern United States was the smallest since 1955, due to a series of unusually cold temperatures in February, March and April. This paper describes the climatic and cropping conditions in the major peach producing areas. Crop set was not strictly a function of late blooming. No variety produced a full crop across the region. Many reputedly "hardy" peaches cropped poorly. The only varieties to produce substantial crops in multiple locations were 'La Premiere', 'Ruston Red' and 'Contender'. Cropping ability of certain breeding selections shows some potential to improve frost tolerance in the future.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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