There Are Lots of Things Blooming in the Peach Industry

At the start of the year, it’s only natural to look at the year ahead with optimism. Peach growers
are no different, and while growers have challenges and setbacks, they are resilient and optimistic
bunch.
To help you in your field management practices and preparations for the coming 2018 harvest,
we have a very informative lineup in this edition. First and foremost, the editorial update on current
chill hours across the Southeast gives you a bird’s eye view of what’s happening with your fellow
orchardists across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. It’s interesting to hear from experts and
growers in each geographic area, and there’s something to be said about comparing notes. We can
learn from each other, even with our different climates, varieties, and harvest windows to consider.
In addition, if you were not able to attend the recent Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable
Conference, we spoke with a Georgia grower who attended to get his perspective on some very
important takeaways from the peach educational sessions.
Plus, you can find a very insightful Q&A with Dr. Brett Blaauw, an assistant professor and
extension specialist with the University of Georgia’s Entomology Department, about pest problems to be
on the lookout for in 2018.
In other recent news, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
(UF/IFAS) welcomed a new member to the Horticultural Sciences Department. Ali Sarkhosh, PhD, has
recently joined as the assistant professor and extension specialist in tree fruit and viticulture, with a
special emphasis on low-chill stone fruit and grape production. He plans to focus his research on
optimizing production systems, including chilling hours requirement (dormancy break), crop load,
canopy management, tree size control, application of PGRs, irrigation and nutrition management,
organic production, and value-added product. We welcome Dr. Sarkhosh to the UF/IFAS faculty, and
look forward to his collaboration in the Florida peach industry.
Remember, if you are a grower in the Southeast, you may subscribe for free by sending us your
mailing address. For more information, see the form on page 12. Thanks for reading The Peach News,
and I wish you a plentiful and prosperous 2018.