Bonnie Lundblad, New Jersey Peach Promotion Council member, addresses attendees of the Eastern Produce Council’s annual cookout at Demarest Farms, Hillsdale, N.J., a yearly event sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. ( Courtesy of N.J. Peach Promotion Council )

New Jersey peach growers are optimistic about this summer marketing season.

Lewis DeEugenio, owner of Summit City Farms and president of Jersey Fruit Marketing Cooperative in Glassboro, spoke favorably about the size and quality of the state’s new peach crop. 

“We anticipate the best in many years, due to a mild winter and frost-free spring — no temperatures that might kill developing flower buds and fruit,” DeEugenio said in a news release. “We have had abundant rainfall, and our water table is high, adequate if we have to irrigate in the event of a prolonged drought. Our labor supply has been good, growers have finished pruning trees and are now thinning to improve fruit size and quality.”

Bonnie Lundblad of Sunny Valley International, Glassboro, N.J., and a new director of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, said her company markets New Jersey peaches under the labels Jersey Fruit, Just Picked and Atlantic Sunrise.

“I’m excited to help develop promotional policies and ideas for the council and am looking forward to building public demand for our peaches,” Lundblad said in the release.

Early peach varieties such as the yellow-fleshed Flamin Fury PF 5B should be ready for market by mid-June, followed by a full supply of all yellow-fleshed varieties, yellow-fleshed nectarines, white-fleshed peaches and nectarines and a few varieties of flat or doughnut type peaches, from July through mid-September, according to the release. 

New Jersey is the fourth-largest peach producing state in the U.S., with about 55 orchards on 5,000 acres, producing 22,000-25,000 tons, valued at approximately $30 million, according to the release.

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