Bumper peach season will end early

Published 1:10 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It was only last month when peach season “officially” kicked off at Durbin Farms Market in early June and, in about another month, it will come to a close.

This year has been a good season for the crop, but most peaches are expected to be picked by mid- to late-August.

Jim Pitts, director of the Chilton Research and Extension Center (CREC), said, overall, it is as perfect a peach season as he has seen during his time with the center.

“Overall, it’s a really unusually good year,” said Pitts. “There were no real issues with bacterial spots compared to last year, and we didn’t see a lot of brown rot issues because of the weather.”

At the end of May and the beginning of June, the county received little water, but going into July, afternoon thunderstorms became more numerous, giving the trees the water they needed.

“The quality was outstanding because they received adequate amounts of water —the weather was in our favor,” Pitts said. “The mild spring and warm summer helped the peaches go up in size like they did.”

Pitts said the prices stayed up, and the peaches have been in high demand.

“If I had to draw off what a good season would be, this would be one to come real close to a good season,” said Pitts. “It has been a remarkably good year I’ll say.”

Unfortunately, the end of the season is fast approaching.

“The ripening sequence is picking up speed, and they are coming off faster than normal, and this is contributed to the weather,” said Pitts. “We started 10 days early, and it will end early.

“Overall, the peaches have really done well. It was an outstanding year for them, and I hope folks have gotten to eat plenty of them.”