Cool weather compressed Florida peach season

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Cool weather compressed Florida peach season

A representative of Florida Classic Growers expects peach shipments to wrap up in a couple of weeks in what he describes as a positive but compressed season.

The company's president, Al Finch, said the initial harvests had been delayed by a few days due to cool weather during the growing period, but once the campaign got underway the volumes came on quickly.

"Right now it appears that the peach season will end the week of May 14, so at this time we’re looking at having peaches available for another two weeks," he said. Harvests began at the end of March.

"This season we were a couple of weeks late getting started and this was due to the cooler weather that we had in March. This pushed everything back a couple of weeks, and what it did was it also really compressed the season into a shorter period."

Despite the smaller marketing window this year, Finch said that the season has been good with stable pricing.

He added that Florida Classic Growers growers picked up new customers this season.

"There have been new retail groups carrying peaches for the first time, and they have seen success with the program," he said.

He also noted Florida peaches were gaining in popularity each year and he expressed excitement about the future of the industry.

"It’s a delicious eating peach, and it’s not something people have got to put on the counter and wait for three days to ripen up. The consumer can take it home and enjoy it right then," he said.

Florida Classic Growers markets around 750 acres and has its main customer base on the Eastern seaboard, but ships as far north as Canada and as far west as Kansas and Minnesota.

Finch also noted that Florida has a good window for supplying peaches to the domestic market, traditionally coming into production after Chile has wrapped up and finishing before other U.S. growing regions kick off.

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