New Jersey Peach Promotion Council Season Outlook: ‘Peachy’

Glassboro, NJ — A glowing crop projection for the 2019 peach marketing season came from the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council (PPC) during a recent Demarest Farms annual ‘cookout bash for food retailers, distributors and other purveyors of Jersey Fresh produce.  The cookout was sponsored by the Eastern Produce Council and New Jersey Department of Agriculture, and included presentations on new marketing plans, crop volume, timing and anticipated quality of major Jersey Fresh produce for the 2019 season, looking to be one of the best in years. Peaches so far are at the top of their game.   

Dr Lewis DeEugenio, owner of Summit City Farms and president of Jersey Fruit Marketing Cooperative in Glassboro, expressed optimism about the size and quality of the state’s new peach crop.  “We anticipate the best in many years, due to a mild winter and frost-free spring — no temperatures that might kill developing flower buds and fruit,” he said.  “We have had abundant rainfall and our water table is high, adequate if we have to irrigate in the event of a prolonged drought.  Our labor supply has been good, growers have finished pruning trees, and are now thinning to improve fruit size and quality.“

Early peach varieties such as the yellow-fleshed Flamin Fury PF 5B should be ready for market by mid-June, followed by a full supply of all yellow-fleshed varieties, yellow-fleshed nectarines , white-fleshed peaches and nectarines and a few varieties of flat or doughnut type peaches mostly cream and white-fleshed, from July through mid-September.”

Bonnie Lundblad, of Sunny Valley International produce packers and distributors in Glassboro and a new director of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, added comments about moving this year’s peach crop. Sunny Valley markets New Jersey peaches under the popular labels Jersey Fruit, Just Picked and Atlantic Sunrise “I’m excited to help develop promotional policies and ideas for the council and am looking forward to building public demand for our peaches; This event is one of the best ways to start that process,” she said. 

The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State for the purpose of preserving farmers and farmland; and providing the highest quality and best tasting fresh peaches for consumers. New Jersey is the fourth largest peach producing state in the country, with approximately 55 orchards on 5,000 acres, producing 22,000-2,5000 tons, valued at approximately $30-million.     

Photo:  Bonnie Lundblad, NJPPC member, addresses attendees of the Eastern Produce Council/New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s annual cookout at Demarest Farms