Commercial Growers

The commercial peach grower will find research-based information here for many of the technical production questions he faces.

American Fruit Grower “Stone Fruit” Columns

(American Fruit Grower Magazine is an international magazine with a readership of 31,000 from the U.S.A. and many foreign countries.)

Fertility Management – Implications If Done Incorrectly
The single most important nutrient that is needed and used by the peaches every year is nitrogen.

Frequently Asked Questions
Currently, we have a total of 32 FAQs on the site. These are arranged in five different categories including historical interest, general interest, peaches in China, scientific findings, and commercial production.

Are you stressed?
Dr. Layne addresses abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) stresses and how they can impact peach trees.

Diversifying Your Fruit Portfolio
Whether you are a large-scale wholesale shipper, a small-scale retailer, or something in between, it is likely that you have experienced “feast or famine.”

Everything About Peaches
Dr. Layne and his team at Clemson have created a new “one-stop-shop” for peach information. It is a website called “Everything About Peaches”. Have a look!

Whose (intellectual) property is it anyway?
The difference between cultivars that are public releases versus those that are patented and why this distinction is relevant.  He also issues a caution to growers about illegally propagating patented cultivars.

Are there gaps in your GAPs?
The need and benefits of establishing good agricultural practices (GAPs) for your operation.  This includes developing a produce safety plan.

Truth in advertising
How to determine fruit maturity and assess quality of peaches at harvest time.  He discusses using a penetrometer to measure firmness and a refractometer to measure brix.

Now’s your chance!
The important peach disease, brown rot, and how orchard sanitation can significantly limit disease spread.

Ahead of the curve
Advice to growers about proactive steps they can take to stay up-to-date with relevant issues affecting their business and orchard management practices.  He notes benefits from conducing cooperative on-farm research with university specialists and attending educational programs.

Peaches in greenhouses – what’s this?!
The current status of and practices involved in greenhouse production of nectarines and peaches in China.  Approximately 30,000 acres are in production now in several Chinese provinces to get early production and high market prices.

Why so long?
How new peach cultivars are developed through breeding and why it takes so long from the time an initial cross is made until a new cultivar is selected, named and released.

Being a good neighbor
The impact of urban sprawl/encroachment on fruit production and how farmers can successfully deal with this situation as an opportunity instead of a nuisance.

Healthy Eating and Healthy Marketing
The health benefits of eating fruits and using those benefits for marketing advantage and public education.

A fruitful education
 
 Dr. Desmond R. Layne encourages fruit growers to be involved in the education of customers about the fascinating world of fruit – this includes their place in history and culture, health benefits, eating pleasure, etc.

Fueling the local food wave
Dr. Desmond R. Layne encourages growers to build their local customer base through fun and memorable on-farm experiences including delicious fresh fruits and value-added products, tours, games, etc.

Surfing the local food wave 
The local food movement, the increased development of farmers markets, and the opportunities resulting from changing consumer preferences for local food. 

Replant site considerations

Problems with planting peaches on sites where peaches have been grown before (i.e., replant sites) and what growers can do to maximize the potential for success. 

New peach book coming soon
New book, “The Peach: Botany, Production and Uses”.

The Easter Freeze: a follow up
Dr. Desmond R. Layne advises growers on how to manage orchards where the crop was compromised or lost due to the 2007 Easter Freeze in order to minimize pest/disease problems in the following year.

Reflections on the Easter freeze

Dr. Desmond R. Layne recounts the impact of the 2007 Easter Freeze, some lessons learned and suggestions to minimize risk in the future.

Numerous factors affect peach quality
Peach fruit quality is influenced by fruit handling, the orchard environment, cultivar genetics, and other manipulations that can be made by the grower.

Managing crop load to maximize profitability

The influence of cultivar, cultural management practices, timing and method of thinning and the impact these factors have on final fruit size and pack-out at harvest.

Tree density and profitability

Changing from a traditional-spaced, low-density orchard to a higher density orchard requires several important management considerations in order to maximize effectiveness and profitability and to minimize errors.

New peach releases for July and August

Dr. Desmond R. Layne introduces readers to four new peach cultivars that have been released through his cooperative program with peach breeder, Dr. Dick Okie (USDA-ARS, Byron, GA), that are suitable for the prime peach production months of July and August in the southeastern U.S.

Diversification and niche marketing
How white-fleshed peaches and nectarines can provide a profitable niche market to attract Asian and Hispanic customers, in particular.

The importance of water
The importance of supplemental irrigation for peach trees – especially during dry spells in the summer.  He notes vital times when trees need water to maximize the impact on final fruit size.

The importance of nitrogen
How this vital nutrient is absolutely necessary for a healthy and productive peach orchard.  However, he notes that if applied incorrectly, a host of problems can result.

Maintaining quality with sulfur

Managing the peach scab disease using sulfur and other products.  In dry, low-disease pressure years, sulfur is an effective, inexpensive alternative to more expensive fungicides.

Make the right decisions
Dr. Desmond R. Layne exhorts peach growers to focus on high fruit quality to ensure customer satisfaction and return sales.  He discusses the trends of buying locally produced fruit and the fact that less people are canning fruit as in years past.

Avoiding Armillaria root rot (ARR)
The growing prevalence of oak root rot or Armillaria root rot disease in peach orchards, nationwide.  He notes some of the on-going research efforts to combat this growing foe.

Let there be light
The importance of orchard tree row orientation (North-South is best) and tree canopy management to maximize light interception for its positive impact on fruit growth, skin coloration, overall fruit quality, yield, return bloom, and overall tree health.

Chinese peaches: past and present
Dr. Desmond R. Layne shares some of the fascinating history and current status of the world’s oldest and largest peach producing country, China.

Establishing a variety "test" block
The need and benefit for growers to establish their own long-term test block on their farm to make side-by-side comparisons of their accepted standard cultivars with new ones they want to test for consideration of future planting.