Florida peaches are getting help on uniform flowering from area researchers.
The Florida peach industry is not a large ag sector in Florida; not yet, anyways. Florida peaches started being grown commercially in Florida about the time when citrus greening really started to take a toll on the Sunshine State’s citrus industry. Peach growers and area researchers are still finding what works and what doesn’t with Florida peaches, and one area where they are having real issues is with uniform flowering, according to a Vegetable and Specialty Crop News article. Read about how University of Florida researchers are trying to help.
Florida Peaches and Uniform Flowering
Peaches need a certain amount of cold weather to produce flowers and thus fruit. Called ‘chill hours’ Florida peach growers have had some real issues with see even the low end of spectrum for chill hour needs with the unseasonable warm winters seen up and down the east coast the last few years.
Tripti Vashisth, a citrus Extension specialist and assistant professor with the University of Florida maintained that adequate chill hours are necessary for uniform flowering, which naturally affects fruit set. “Once you have uniform flowering, then you can have uniform fruit set, and the management would be easier. And economically, it would be much better,” she says.
Vashisth shared that researchers are looking into the use of a chemical called hydrogen cyanamide to help Florida peach trees with uniform flowering. “We are trying to optimize concentration at this point, but we have figured out that it is working fine for peaches in Florida,” Vashisth said.
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