Peaches are in season right now, which should be great for California; the state that ranks first in the U.S. for production of the delicious, fuzzy fruit. But unfortunately, the California drought has affected the peach industry statewide, just like it has other agricultural industries. The outcome? Smaller produce.
Peaches are already smaller this harvest due to an unseasonably warm winter, which caused the fruit to develop earlier and over a shorter period of time. But the drought has caused farmers to cut back on the amount of water peach trees receive, which makes for a more petite fruit. In fact, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, peaches are up to 88 percent water. It makes sense, then, that trees receiving less water would develop smaller fruit.
The good news? The petite peaches will taste just as great this year, and might possibly even taste better. If there’s less water pumped into the fruit during development, then there’s less dilution of the things that make fruit taste delicious— namely sugar and other nutrients.
Unfortunately, farms bearing smaller fruit are feeling the weight of consumers’ expectations. Aesthetically, consumers tend to judge quality by size, and smaller fruits aren’t performing well at the market. One CA peach farmer, David Mas Masumoto, is going so far as to create an online campaign around embracing smaller fruit with the hashtag #SmallFruitRevolution.
It’s certainly important for California growers— who are in the midst of a very serious water crisis— for consumers to embrace small peaches, and because the quality is still up-to-par, we believe that they will.
At AgAmerica Lending, we care about farmers and their well-being. We help agribusinesses grow their operations with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year Line of Credit.
Caption: From left to right, AgAmerica team members Breanna, Shelby, Elizabeth, and Phoebe pick some fresh peaches from a nearby orchard.