I still don’t trust this peach crop as there are many different size peaches on the tree. Peaches still aren’t growing much, but we are still in a cool weather pattern. I’m fairly certain there won’t be any Rich May, Parade, Big Red, or Fairtime. Derby, Rubiprince, Fireprince, Windblow, and Loring will be light. Ruston Red, Contender, Cresthaven, Sureprince, Julyprince, and China Pearl look pretty good. All other varieties are still undetermined at this time. Apples look good. Hopefully, next week’s report will be more definitive. Tune in then.
Archive for April, 2013
The 2013 peach crop is getting smaller. After thorough inspection, I am certain that many varieties are going to be in short supply. There are lots of tiny peaches which will certainly fall off. There are peaches which are nickel size which will stick and make a peach. The peaches that are medium size will determine the total crop. I lean toward a 50-60% crop at this time. This week we will spray all the peaches even though I doubt if some varieties are worth spraying. I just can’t take a chance of skipping a spraying that may cause disease problems on these light varieties. Next week I will try to list the varieties which I predict a good crop. This is also looking like a very late crop and we will probably not open until mid June. We will plant watermelons and tomatoes this week. Tune in next week for more farm news.
This week will be busy on the farm. The number one priority is spray the peaches. The next three weeks require weekly sprayings to control insects and scab. This requires expensive materials such as captan or bravo which cost over 125 dollars per tank and will take 9 tanks per week to cover our acreage. Later we can spray sulfur which is much cheaper. Weed control is still an ongoing challenge and we will be applying roundup to our older apple trees. Some apple varieties require a fireblight spray at this time. Peaches are growing, but I still feel like some will drop due to poor pollination. If the drop is minor there should be a good crop left. Tune in next week as we get busier each week.
Finally, we are supposed to have a warm week which should help the peaches grow. Some varieties I believe will be just fine, however some varieties seem to be showing more damage. I think some of it is directly from the cold night while some is due to poor pollination due to so much cold wet weather. It will take more time to get an idea of just how big a crop this will be. This week we are still preparing the fruit stand for the summer. We also will be putting an oil spray on the apples. The soil is still wet, but we plan to spend time getting our irrigation lines and sprinklers ready, for dry weather is always a certainty in the sandhills. Tune in next week for more farm news.
This week we are applying a bloom spray to the peaches. Since we have been cool and wet for several weeks a bloom spray could be important to fight several diseases. It is still hard to determine the extent of cold damage to the peach buds because they haven’t advanced much in the cool weather. The forecast is for much warmer weather next week, so the peaches should grow more rapidly while the damaged buds fall off. Apples are still two weeks from bloom, so they will not need a spray until then. Check back next week for more farm news.