Florida Peaches Capture Seasonal Market Opportunity

Florida Peaches Capture Seasonal Market Opportunity

Tim Hammerich
Tim Hammerich
News Reporter
I’m Tim Hammerich with your Southeast Regional Ag Report.

Patrick Cavanaugh reported last week that some Florida citrus growers are diversifying into peaches. He’s back with another good reason for the crop: they can catch early season premiums.

Leading the charge on Florida. Peaches is Dundee Citrus Growers Association, a cooperative. Which the Dundee Stone Fruit Association is a subsidiary. Steven Callaham is CEO of Dundee Citrus Growers.

Callaham... "You know, we're a cooperative and our growers are us and it's been a good business."

It's all about diversifying out of citrus, which has been hammered by huanglongbing.

Callaham... "We, you know, produce peaches that come into maturity in March and April of every year. And that's kind of a unique market window. Were the first domestic peach that comes into maturity in the year. So we kind of come on the backside of the Chilean South American imports, and we come before the Georgia and South Carolina peaches come into maturity."

And the last count there's a thousand acres or peaches being grown in Florida.Now peaches need a certain amount of chill hours, a set, a good bloom, and to set a good crop.

Callaham... "You know, we need peaches that require very little because we're very warm in Florida. We have very few varieties we can grow in the state. So I think that's been somewhat of a limitation on rapid expansion, but there's work underway and new varieties are being developed and, you know, we're anxious to see where that leads in the future."

Patrick Cavanaugh reporting there with Steven Callaham of Dundee Citrus.

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