TRENTON – It's been a peachy-keen summer for farmers in New Jersey.
On track to harvesting about 8 million more pounds of peaches in 2017 than in the previous year, the Garden State is headed to become the second-highest peach producer in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August Crop Production Forecast for 2017.
Stop by Belmar Fresh Farmers' Market on Saturday, August 19 in Pyanoe Plaza at Ninth Avenue and Main Street. From 8 a.m. to noon, several farms are certain to have peaches among its produce picks.
Based on phone calls, mail, internet and personal interviews with farmers in New Jersey and around the country, the forecast predicts state peach farmers will produce 48 million pounds of the fruit this year, ranking behind only California in peach production.
“Conditions in New Jersey have been perfect for growing peaches this season, allowing farmers to have an extremely high yield of the juicy, sweet tree fruit,” N.J. Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. “We want people to know Jersey Fresh peaches are plentiful and available at supermarkets, farmers markets and roadside stands."
The first peach variety of New Jersey’s season is the Sentry, followed by the Crest Haven variety, which also includes the Gloria variety of peach, and then by the Jersey Queen and Fayette varieties. The Encore and Laurol varieties will wrap up the season sometime in mid- to late-September, when the last of New Jersey’s peaches should be picked. White peaches are available now and are expected to continue through mid-September.
To find Jersey Fresh peaches, go to your local supermarket or search for farmers markets, pick-your-own farms and roadside markets on the Jersey Fresh website. Also, check out Jersey Fresh peach recipes at Recipes and there is one featured below.
A half-cup of sliced fresh peaches is just 30 calories and provides 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Ripe peaches can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Rinse peaches in cool water and dry before eating.
The USDA surveyed approximately 21,700 producers for the crop production report. The producers were asked questions about probable yield. These growers will continue to be surveyed throughout the growing season to provide indications of average yields.
The August crop production report also forecasted a crop of 44 million pounds of apples for the Garden State, also up from last year. New Jersey cranberry producers expect to harvest 590,000 barrels, which would rank New Jersey third in the U.S. in cranberry production.