Northeast Peach Crop Rebounds

Northeast Peach Crop Rebounds

A year after what growers dubbed the Valentine’s Day Massacre, the peach crop in the Northeast is expected to rebound.

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“Everything just dialed in this year,” Al Caggiano tells the Associated Press. Caggiano is the co-owner of Sunny Slope Orchards in Bridgeton, N.J., a third-generation family farm with about 500 acres of peaches.

Last year, the peach crops in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York were wiped out when temperatures dropped below zero in many areas on Feb. 14.

“There was no peach crop in Massachusetts last year,” said Jon Clements, a fruit specialist affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Extension.

Last April, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were hit by an unexpected cold spell.

“We had a mild winter and we actually bloomed right on time the first or second week of April,” Caggiano said. “Then we had a 10-day period with no real cold temperatures during bloom.”

Frank Carlson, who runs Carlson Orchards in Harvard, MA, said he hopes to match the 200,000 pounds harvested in 2015.

“We just experienced a beautiful bloom, so we are anticipating a pretty decent crop,” he says.