Argentina could embrace new U.S. peach variety
While Argentina has the largest planted peach area in the Southern Hemisphere, a recent variety introduction shows the country's stonefruit industry is not content to rest on its laurels. Nurseries in the Buenos Aires province will now be selling buds of Ruby Prince peaches, which were developed through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) genetic improvement program in Byron, Georgia.
Argentina's National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) arm in San Pedro has registered a new stonefruit variety every two years on average over the last two decades, and has just presented the latest newcomer.
INTA San Pedro plant breeding specialist Gabriel Valentini, says the Ruby Prince 'performs' very well in the north-eastern zone of Buenos Aires, with a floration period for the first 15 days of September. This period is ideal for growers as it has a statistically low probability of intense frosts.
The institute chose the variety due to its combination of good performance, quality, good size, and reasonable resistance to handling.
"The fruits are of a medium-to-large size, with an average weight of 160 grams (5.6oz). It's flesh is a yellow color, the stone is partly free, and the background color of the skin is yellow with 80% additional red coloring on the surface," says Valentini.
"The focus of the work has been to obtain and select varieties that combine yield, quality and good performance against the most common health problems of the region.
The variety will most likely be cultivated for the fresh market, with a final harvest that starts in November and extends until mid-December. An INTA release says the average yield of an adult plant is around 38kg (83.6lbs) of commercial-quality fruit.