Lack of chill hours might impact Georgia peach harvest

From Fresh Plaza | 27 February 2023

Overview of peaches in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on February 24, 2023. 

California annually produces the majority of the peaches in the US. In 2017, the Golden State produced 56 percent of the county’s fresh peach crop and more than 96 percent of processed peaches. South Carolina, Georgia and New Jersey are also significant producers.

A fruit that many consider a southern delicacy has faced the challenges of a warm winter across Georgia, but agriculture experts believe due to production in other regions and increasing adaptations by farmers that the upcoming harvest should not feel drastic impacts from the climate.

peach volumes by origin

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Agricultural experts refer to time spent under a temperature threshold as chill hours, and many varieties of peaches require hundreds of hours below 45°F to flourish. According to the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, many communities around the Peach State are 100 to 200 hours below last season’s levels, with no sight of winter’s return.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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