Mid-Atlantic harvets run late, but quality looks good

06/07/2013 12:36:00 PM
Sarah Krause

Blueberries are expected to start out of New Jersey on June 15, a typical start, and should run through mid-August.

“So far everything looks good, no problems. It’s been a good winter with plenty of chill hours,” Von Rohr said.

Peaches out of South Carolina are running slightly later than normal, with harvest on May 25-27, Von Rohr said. Volume will be light to start through June and ramp up in July, he said. South Carolina peaches run through the end of August. New Jersey peaches and nectarines start the middle of July and run through September.

Good quality peaches

Mike Blume, salesman at Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc., Greencastle, Pa., said he anticipates a full peach crop in Pennsylvania, Georgia and South Carolina.

“The quality of peaches is some of the best we’ve seen in a long time,” he said. “I believe this will hold true for our Pennsylvania peaches too.”

At Dublin Farms in Horntown, Va., potatoes were planted three weeks later than normal because of cold, wet weather, said David Hickman, vice president.

“We’ve had good growing weather since then, so the potatoes are making up some of that time, but they still need to have a minimum of 90 days before they’re ready to harvest, which puts us around July 1 (to start harvesting).”

Hickman predicted the potato harvest to continue through Aug. 10. Dublin Farms grows many varieties of red skin, round whites and yellows. This year, they are trying a new round white potato, he added.

Jimmy Carter, owner of Oak Grove, Va.-based Parker Farms, said his operations — which stretch from Delaware to south Florida — are still about a week behind in all commodities.

He said he expected the squash harvest to start around June 4 or 5, followed by broccoli June 8, cucumbers June 22 and sweet corn June 29.

“The quality of everything up and growing looks good. It’s just slow,” he said.

Steve Balderston, co-owner of Colora, Md.-based Colora Orchards, said he’s also looking forward to getting the season going at his orchard, where he grows 15 varieties of peaches on 100 acres and eight varieties of apples on 120 acres.

“Last year we were a month early, but (this year) it’s kind of a normal spring, which is good,” Balderston said.

Staff writer Mary Kastor contributed to this report.


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