Peaches and Nectarines Pt 1

Peaches and Nectarines Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Stone fruits, or soft fruits, like peaches and nectarines, tend to do well in the Pacific Northwest. And, estimates from the USDA’s National Ag Statistic Service have peaches at 10,000 tons, up 21% from last year.

But of course, BJ Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission, says 2021 weather has been a big challenge for just about everyone …

THURLBY … “You know, we’ve gone through this summer so far where we’ve had this, you know, the largest amount of heat that we’ve ever seen. I mean, we went through a week of 115 degrees in the Yakima Valley.”

But, Thurlby says for peaches and nectarines, that’s not necessarily a bad thing …

THURLBY … “It didn’t probably help much at all as far as cherry, pear and apple growers go. I mean, I think we were all wishing it could have been 20 or 30 degrees lower in terms of total heat consumption, but soft fruit loves heat and, by all accounts, I’ve been out looking around a little bit, the peaches and nectarines look great. So, I think we’re on a roll this year.”

The estimates, Thurlby says are likely divided …

THURLBY … “Yeah, we’re looking at closer to 5,000 tons for fresh. Now, you know, there’s fruit that also goes into the process market and maybe there’s another few thousand tons there and that’s very possible.”

And currently, Thurlby says they’re looking really good …

THURLBY … “Oh, we’re at the peak right now. You know, you’re talking about from mid-August through mid-September, there’s nothing better than watching peach or nectarine, in terms of flavor and ripeness. And so, it’s exciting.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on this year’s peach and nectarine crop.

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