Sep 13, 2018
New Jersey peach season later than usual

New Jersey peach growers are experiencing a late season.

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council (NJPPC) Marketing Consultant Pegi Adam said many growers in the state such as Alstede Farms still have peaches left. The season, which typically starts in late June, this year did not hit markets until early July.

Adam expects peaches to remain available until late September ­– usually they wrap up early in the month.

“Kind of a fluke, but a good fluke,” she said. “It was a pretty cold spring … and then it was a warm summer.”

“Our peach crop was later-maturing and down from 2017 according to the USDA Market News Data,” added Jerry Frecon, a retired Rutgers University professor who’s now the council’s horticultural consultant. “Our late-maturing peaches are genetically larger than earlier maturing varieties and this year with the extra rain size was very large.”

“The varieties we are still picking are Laurol, Victoria yellow- fleshed peaches,” Frecon said. “We also have available Flamin Fury PF 35-007, Flamin Fury PF 36-007, Flame Prince and Autumn Star and the white-fleshed variety Snow Giant.”

The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is trying to boost sales for the later crop. New Jersey peaches not only have to compete with out-of-state peaches but also apples, which consumers seem to gravitate towards apples at the first hint of fall.

“As soon as Labor Day hits, the public for some reason starts to think apples,” Adam said.

NJPPC is promoting the state-grown peaches on  billboard and radio advertisements in addition to electronic and social media. Those efforts include a variety of promotions, including a peach recipe contest on the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s popular “Jersey Fresh” site, a challenge contest asking site visitors to spot notices and bins of Jersey peaches and a “feedback” panel for consumer input on the Jersey Peaches site.

“We hope that the combinations of billboards, social media promotions and contests will increase the visibility of Jersey peaches and their consumption. These promotions augment our traditional advertising and promotions,” said Santo Maccherone, NJPPC’s chair. “We are also asking consumers to give us feedback in a tracking box on our homepage to help measure where people are seeing our promotions.”

The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State, preserving farmers and farmland; and providing the highest quality and best tasting fresh peaches for consumers. New Jersey is the third-largest peach producing state in the country, with approximately 80 orchards on 4,700 acres.

– Stephen Kloosterman, FGN Associate Editor

Above, a Larchmont Farms Jerseyqueen and Fayette all above three inches in diameter at a local grocery market. Below is a nice bin of PF 35-007 peaches. Photos: Jerome L “Jerry” Frecon


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