• Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

  • September 1st, 2011

H-2A workers in the Titan Farms packing plant cheered when they found their peaches were going to their home country.
Richard Lehnert

For the first time since 1994, peaches from the southeastern United States moved into stores in Mexico in June this year.

The breakthrough came after about five years of [...]

  • Michigan grower sees bright future for plums

Michigan grower sees bright future for plums

  • September 1st, 2011

Some of Rood’s older plum trees show there can be problems. This tree shows rootstock compatibility problems, and the bark cracks persistently, even when painted and several years old.
Richard Lehnert

While Paul Rood is known in Michigan as the fruit grower with the pears, he thinks a real future [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • August 1st, 2011

Elberta is not highly colored, but it has good flavor, bears dependably, and is widely adapted—traits the helped it dominate the peach industry for nearly a century.

Elberta, probably the most widely known peach variety ever, was the first large, firm, shippable peach that was yellow-fleshed, freestone, and melting. It [...]

  • Peach breeder Dick Okie retiring

Peach breeder Dick Okie retiring

  • August 1st, 2011

After 30 years breeding peaches for the South—15 in the Prince series alone—W.R. (Dick) Okie retired this year. He is still working until a successor is decided upon.
Courtesy of W.R. Okie

W.R. (Dick) Okie, the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s stone fruit breeder in Byron, Georgia, for more than 30 years, [...]

Fast, easy test reveals fungicide resistance

  • July 1st, 2011

When disease organisms become resistant to a fungicide, spraying is like hitting them with rainwater—expensive rainwater.

In the last three years, Georgia and South Carolina peach growers have saved money from what would have been wasted sprays and lost fruit caused by fungicide-resistant brown rot—thanks to a Profile kit developed [...]

  • Virus-free peach trees

Virus-free peach trees

  • July 1st, 2011

Simon Scott moves plants at the Musser Fruit Research Farm’s greenhouse, where about 300 trees of a hundred low-chill cultivars will be grown.
Richard Lehnert

Until plum pox virus (PPV) appeared in Pennsylvania peach orchards in 1999, many peach growers took a pretty casual view of viruses—living with them and [...]

  • Peaches on ridges

Peaches on ridges

  • July 1st, 2011

Impressed by early research results, Titan Farms planted 200 acres of peaches on ridges to try out this new approach to Armillaria root rot.
Richard Lehnert

Since coming to Clemson University in 2000, Dr. Guido Schnabel has been taking on the two big disease problems that plague peach growers in [...]

Mr. Peach

  • July 1st, 2011

Chalmers Carr III is active in the South Carolina peach industry, as well as his own business. His efforts have been recognized by the South Carolina Peach Council, which this year named him Mr. Peach.

He’s been a leader in urging growers to become involved in genetic peach research initiatives [...]

  • Titan Farms

Titan Farms

  • July 1st, 2011

Amancio Palma, right, manages the huge crew of more than 400 H-2A workers who work in the peach orchards. With Chalmers Carr III, they look over peaches ripening in mid-May.
Richard Lehnert

When you have 4,900 acres of peaches and 600,000 trees to manage, how do you keep track of [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • July 1st, 2011

The Santa Rosa plum was the most widely grown plum in California until the mid-1970s.

The Santa Rosa plum, one of the most popular and widely known plum varieties in America, was named after the northern California city of Santa Rosa where Luther Burbank, the plum’s breeder, settled in 1875 [...]

  • Everything about PEACHES

Everything about PEACHES

  • July 1st, 2011

Desmond Layne’s work in peach cultivar evaluation means tasting a lot of peaches. “It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it,” he quips.
Richard Lehnert

Desmond Layne looks younger than he is, and he thinks young, too.

His goal is to use that modern information tool, the Internet, and [...]

  • Clemson peach team

Clemson peach team

  • July 1st, 2011

More peaches—about 17,000 acres— are grown in South Carolina than any other state east of California, and Clemson University, the ­land-grant university of South Carolina, provides a robust staff of academic professionals who serve the ­growers.

Dr. Ksenija Gasic, the peach breeder on the team, holds the newest position. There [...]