The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is funding research on new peach varieties to stay in the game when competition heats up.
Two peach experts are conducting the research: Hemant Gohil, agricultural agent for fruit science with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Gloucester County, and Dan Ward, extension tree fruit specialist at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center, according to a council news release.
The focus has been on achieving optimum maturity, handling protocols and storage characteristics on peach genotypes. It’s also a way to compete with peaches flooding the New Jersey market in the summertime from the West, Georgia and South Carolina, Jerry Frecon, the council’s technical consultant, said in the release.
“These new varieties have the potential to benefit the industry because they are selected for late bloom, cold hardiness, disease resistance, fruit quality (including novel flesh types) and a range of harvest dates that can extend their season,” Santo John Maccherone, council chairman and owner of Circle M Farms in Salem, said in the release.
The peaches will come to market once the plants mature in a few years.
The most recent results of Rutgers research are five new varieties developed by Rutgers fruit breeder Joe Goffreda: Brigantine, Evelynn, Silverglo, Selena and Tiana.