New Jersey Peach Industry Facts

New Jersey Peach Industry Facts

  • New Jersey ranks 4th nationally for peach production, after California, South Carolina & Georgia.
  • 100% of New Jersey’s peach crop is sold to the fresh market via supermarkets, farm markets, specialty produce stores, U-pick operations, community farmers markets.  Jersey peaches are shipped all over the eastern US and eastern Canada.
  • New Jersey peaches are all picked by hand.
  • New Jersey’s average peach production: 60 – 66 million pounds/30,000 – 33,000 tons.
  • Average total wholesale production value of New Jersey peaches is $30-35-million*

*(figures from USDA National Ag Statistics Service & USDA Agricultural Marketing Service)

New Jersey’s Fresh Peach Season

Late June through September

Varieties of New Jersey peaches

100+ varieties

·Yellow flesh comprise 90% of Jersey peaches

·White flesh comprise 4% of Jersey peaches

·Yellow and white flesh nectarines comprise 6%

·Something new Doughnut or flat peaches less than 1%

·New varieties are regularly introduced for planting by the Rutgers NJ Agricultural Experiment Station.

Long-standing Most Popular Varieties

·John Boy, long-standing most popular peach.

·White Lady, still the Queen of low-acid white-fleshed peaches.  

·Lady Nancy, the aromatic white fleshed peach.

·Arctic Star (early); Artic Jay, new mid-season white-fleshed nectarines.

Jersey Fresh Standards

To be labeled "Jersey Fresh," peaches must be US Extra No. 1 grade, sized at least 2.25" diameter.

Products from Peaches

Fresh freestone peaches can also be used to produce peach cider, peach syrup, peach jam, peach salsa, peach preserves, peach jelly, peach ice cream, canned and frozen peaches and a wide variety of peach baked goods.

Total Acreage in Peach Orchards

5,500 acres throughout the state.

Number NJ Peach Orchards

80 orchards

Where the orchards are

The southern district-- Gloucester, Cumberland, Camden, Atlantic and Salem Counties-- is the state's major growing area.  Gloucester County has the state's most peach trees, but peach orchards are throughout New Jersey.   

Farm markets and stands and pick-your own are located mainly in central, northern and western regions.  There are also many of these in the southern part of the state.  

Several peach growers take their peaches to community farmers markets located in cities and towns throughout the state.

Pick your own orchards

Listed on "Jersey Fresh website: http://www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/searches/pyo.htm

Value per acre

$5,625  (12,500 pounds x.45 per pound)

Production costs

$3,500 per acre (approximately) to produce peaches in New Jersey

Labeling of peaches

‘Jersey Fresh Premium Peaches’ is a label of increasing importance and prestige.  Twenty one peach shippers, located mainly in southern Jersey, use labels that include Jersey Fruit, Atlantic Sunrise, Top Crop, CircleM Fruit Farms, Holtzhauser Farms, Mood's Orchard, Just Picked, Sun Valley Orchards, Melicks Town Farm, Nichols Orchard, Sunny Slope, Wm Schober, AL Gaventa Sons.

Peach-related events

·New Jersey Peach Festival – last weekend in July, Gloucester Co. 4-H Fairgrounds, Mullica Hill

·Peach Parties -special peach-featured events at farmers markets, restaurants and supermarkets throughout July and August,Jersey Fresh Peach Month.

Perfect Peach Pie contest at selected farmers markets and orchards during August.

Peach-related organizations

·New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, ·New Jersey Department of Agriculture, ·New Jersey Peach Festival Association, ·New Jersey State Horticultural Society, ·New Jersey Farm Bureau ·Rutgers Cooperative Extension at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, ·New Jersey Peach Council

Peach pests & controlling them

The biggest pest problem is brown rot. Additionally, chewing and sucking insects, birds, wood chuck and deer all compete with each other and damage peaches.  

Through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Practices, peach growers have significantly reduced both amounts and costs of pesticides needed to control pests.

Brief history of New Jersey peach industry

Since the 1600’s when the first peaches were grown from seeds, peaches have been produced in New Jersey.  In 1900, there were more than four million peach trees within Hunterdon County, then the major peach-growing region of the state.  San Jose scale wiped out the industry in the early 20th century.    

Today, New Jersey has less than two million peach trees.  However, the industry has for several years been recovering vigorously. New varieties of peaches and nectarines are extending the season both early and late.  

New Jersey soils and climate are ideal for maximum production of quality peaches.

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council

The New Jersey Peach Promotional Council is the state’s independent, primary organization of peach growers, shippers, wholesalers, and associated industries. Directors of the council are elected from these groups. Grower directors are elected from all areas of New Jersey, based on tree acreage. Rutgers Cooperative Extension faculty and staff, and representatives of New Jersey Department of Agriculture assist the council and serve as ex officio members of the Board.

Funds to support peach marketing activities come from membership dues and voluntary member contributions, the annual publication of a wholesale buyer’s guide in which ads are sold, other fund raising activities and the New Jersey Peach Festival held each year. The NJDA supports the industry through the Jersey Fresh Matching Fund program as well as through their advertising and merchandising programs that include the promotion of peaches.

Mission of New Jersey Peach Promotion Council

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is dedicated to the orderly promotion and marketing of fresh New Jersey Peaches; to enhancing returns to growers and shippers; to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State for the purpose of preserving farmers and farmland; and to providing the highest quality and best tasting fresh peaches for consumers.

NJPPC Contact Information

Santo Maccherone, grower, President, NJ Peach Promotion Council, 856-207-4542, circlemfarmsllc@gmail.com
Phil Neary, Vice-chair, NPE Produce Consulting LLC, npeproduceconsulting@gmail.com 
Jerome L. Frecon, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, consultant, 856-207-7123 jfrecon@verizon.net 
Francisco Allende, Secretary -Treasurer, 856 863-9100, fax 856-863-9490,fallende@sunnyint.com
Pegi Adam, Marketing Consultant, 973-744-6090, pegi@mountsnow.org