Peaches that offer better options than existing varieties are at the top of the list when it comes to new varieties, said Bill Shane, who will be speaking about up-and-coming fruits at the Michigan Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market EXPO.
“Growers have been having a tough time getting fruit production under these tough winters we’ve had, so they are not only looking for hardier varieties, and those that have a nice appearance, color, firmness, and are freestone, but are also looking for varieties that fill gaps in the season. That has been an ongoing challenge.”
Several peaches stand out as promising season-extending candidates, according to Shane. One is Glenglo, a yellow-fleshed, semi-clingstone fruit he portrayed as good sized and good flavored, and ripening about two weeks earlier than Redhaven.
Another is Gloria, a freestone, low-acid type, that is yellow-fleshed and is ready to pick about 26 days after Redhaven.
Besides season-extending varieties, other peaches are finding their niches.
—PF 19-007, which he described as a productive peach with good flavor, decent hardiness, and a fairly long shelf life. This large, colorful peach is one of the Flamin’ Fury varieties from Paul Friday’s breeding program in Michigan.
—Coralstar, which falls into the same harvest window as PF 19-007, has “excellent flavor and size” but a shorter shelf life that makes it more suited for farm-market sales, Shane said. Developed by the Fruit Acres Farms’ private peach-breeding program, it is a large, coral-red, freestone fruit.
Sweetstar, another introduction by the Fruit Acres program, is a strong candidate for the shipping peach market, he noted.
The older white-fleshed flat peach Saturn is notable for its hardiness and sweetness and is becoming a standard variety for farm markets, he said. Some of the newer flat peaches, such as the new BuenOs and TangOs from Rutgers, are getting a good evaluation of their winter hardiness.
More information will be available during Shane’s EXPO presentation titled “Focus on Selected New Peach Varieties” on December 9. •
– by Leslie Mertz