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USDA says New Jersey is No. 2 peach producer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August crop production forecast for 2017 declares New Jersey’s peach production will rise to second in the United States. The forecast, which is based on phone calls, mail, Internet and personal interviews with farmers in New Jersey and around the country, predicts state peach farmers will produce 48 million pounds of peaches this year.

“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,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said in a press release. “We want people to know Jersey Fresh peaches are plentiful and available at supermarkets, farmers markets and roadside stands. We appreciate the work the USDA does to keep produce buyers and consumers up to date on the current trends in the industry.”

New Jersey is on track to harvest approximately 8 million more pounds of peaches in 2017 than it did last year, and is behind only California in peach production.

The first peach variety of New Jersey’s season is the Sentry. The crop is now moving into the Crest Haven variety, which also includes the Gloria variety of peach, followed by 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.

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.