Researchers at Clemson University are racing climate change to create a more resilient peach and ensure the future of one of South Carolina’s most important crops.
But the effort is being challenged by the long time-frame it takes to develop a new peach — as long as 20 years — as winters grow warmer and weather becomes more erratic.
“I have to know in 2008 what’s going to happen in 2020, to go beyond what growers were wanting in that moment and try to predict what they might need in the future, because it takes time to give them that,” said fruit geneticist Ksenija Gasic, who is part of Clemson’s six-person team. “That makes it more complicated.”
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