Growers say this year’s South Carolina peach crop is the biggest the region has had in several years, and although peach growers say this year’s harvest has smaller fruit, it’s sweeter fruit.
Amy London, executive director of the SC Peach Council says that the mild winter produced a large crop.
We’re having a wonderful crop this year. We’re anticipating a larger volume than we’ve had in quite some time. We’ve had a great winter. We didn’t have any late freezes, and we’ve got an abundance of peaches for everyone this year. There shouldn’t be a short hand anywhere.
London says that some varieties of peaches are smaller than usual because of a lack of rainfall, but experts say the smaller the peach, the higher the sugar concentration.
We do have a sweeter fruit. So people have a better eating experience this season with the SC peaches, probably better than ever before. I don’t think anybody will be disappointed with the flavor of the peaches this year–really, really sweet.
Peach production is a big segment of South Carolina’s second largest industry after tourism, which is agriculture. Alone, the South Carolina peach industry grosses approximately $40 million annually to the state.
The SC Peach Council brags that South Carolina farmers let their peaches ripen naturally on the tree under the summer sky and that, combined with the Palmetto State’s hot days, humid nights, and slightly acidic soils, the state produces some of the sweetest, juiciest, and greatest-tasting peaches on the market.
London says that there are distinct areas around the state where peaches are grown.