The Southeast peach season is seeing a delayed start following a March freeze.
Jimmy Forrest of Dixie Belle Peaches in Ridge Spring, South Carolina says normally their season would start about May 5th. “This month we’ll have about 10 percent of a crop and in June we’ll have about 50 percent of a crop. And thereafter we’ll have 100 percent of a crop,” he says, noting the season tends to wrap up around Labor Day. This is different than the 2021 peach season which saw a full season with a large crop of peaches.
Strong demand anticipated
As for demand? “It’s all about supply and demand and right now supplies are on the short end of the stick. There will be more orders than we have peaches,” Forrest says. In turn, he anticipates pricing to be strong this season.
However there are concerns about the late start. This early in the year, Georgia and South Carolina are also producing peaches while late next month, Virginia and New Jersey also come on and by July, Michigan as well. “But California is more consistent with supplies than the Southeast. We have a tastier peach so we’re able to demand the market when we have a crop. However, unfortunately when we’re short, the buyers will turn to California and then when we get our crop, as late as it is this year, we are afraid they may be already hooked up with California. We’ll have to wait and see,” Forrest says, noting though that Southeast peaches tend to have a high amount of return business.