Apple producers expanding crops to include peaches

By Diane Palmer

green peaches on a treeCommercial apple growers in Oconee have been facing challenges from increasing costs for equipment, chemicals and fertilizer, as well as from foreign competition.

Clemson Extension fruit specialist Desmond Layne recommended adding peaches as an alternative crop. This would utilize existing equipment and increase sales with a wider variety of fruit and a longer selling season. 

In 2005, some of the producers sold their first crop of peaches. Now, each grower has a small block of peach trees. In July a field day was held at Clemson’s Musser Fruit Research Farm to help growers improve production for both peach and apple crops. This provided an opportunity for growers to talk with Layne and other Clemson scientists about their latest research.

For information: Howard Hiller, 864-638-5889,