Peaches In Greenhouses In China

Stone Fruit: Peaches In Greenhouses - What's This?
I have noted before in this column that China produces roughly 45% of the world’s peaches (2007 production of 9.7 million tons on approximately 1.6 million acres). But did you know that China has approximately 30,000 acres of peaches being commercially produced in protected cultivation (i.e., energy conserving greenhouses)? This is nearly equivalent to the acreage of peaches grown outside in the states of South Carolina and Georgia combined!

This development was first successful at Shandong Agricultural University in the mid 1990s. A great incentive for the commercialization of this practice is the demand for fresh fruit beyond the typical peach harvest season from outdoor commercial orchards. Up to a five-fold increase in price can be obtained for fruits provided to the very early or very late-season markets. To meet the very early market window, low-chill cultivars with a very short fruit development period are selected. Jizao 518 (a 2007 release from the Zhengzhou Fruit Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) is a very early, white-fleshed nectarine that ripens in 50 days and is recommended for “cultivation in infrastructure.”

A typical production system has the trees planted high density (1 meter by 2 meters) and it may remain in production like this for 10 years. To maximize greenhouse production efficiency and profitability, strawberries may be intercropped between the peach tree rows.

Maximizing Yield

With space limitations, various practical measures need to be taken to maximize fruit yield and quality per unit land area while ensuring that trees don’t get too big. One such practice is called postharvest canopy removal (PCR) (see the before and after photos above). Basically, PCR is a modified summer pruning technique. It begins immediately after harvest with the removal of all current shoots. New shoots that emerge thereafter are “tipped” several times to stimulate flower bud production.

Besides pruning, tree size is limited by the artificial application of drought stress, root pruning, and the use of dwarfing and semi-dwarfing scion and rootstock cultivars. Other practices employed in this system include girdling in the fall, the use of hydrogen cyanamide to break dormancy in the spring, and season/cultivar specific fertilizer regimens.

Greenhouse microclimate (i.e., illumination, temperature, water, carbon dioxide-oxygen ratio, etc.) is monitored and controlled. The use of more transparent films on the outside of the structure plus the use of reflective films on the greenhouse floor enhances the light environment. Temperature regulation during bloom (72°F during the day, down to 41°F at night) and during the fruit ripening period (77°F to 86°F) can result in ripening acceleration from 10 to 50 days. Fruit quality is improved by large temperature differences between day and night. Well-insulated greenhouses that have an earth floor (and frozen soil) can hold spring temperatures cool (less than 45°F) for 50 days. Where this is utilized in the northern climates, budbreak is delayed and season extension by 10 to 30 days is achieved.

Soil moisture and relative humidity is primarily regulated by supplemental irrigation. Proper ventilation and irrigation management helps to limit foliar disease development. Efforts are currently being developed for centralized computerization to manage the greenhouse microclimate. The development and selection of new cultivars for the very early market (low chill, short fruit development period) or very late cultivars with high quality will expand the market window and help ensure ongoing profitability.

I hope to see some of these systems in action when I attend an international peach conference in Shanghai later this summer. I hope to share photos and updates in a later column.

With thanks I acknowledge the contribution of photos and information from Dr. Hongwen Huang (director and professor, South China Botanical Garden, Guangzhou) used in this column.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

5 comments on “Peaches In Greenhouses In China

  1. As you mentioned in your article above that China has approx 30,000 acres of peach being commercially produced in protected cultivation. It is very interested to know how much they can grow yellow clingstone in each area in each province. Can you please advise where I can find this statistical data for the past year?

  2. As you mentioned in your article above that China has approx 30,000 acres of peach being commercially produced in protected cultivation. It is very interested to know how much they can grow yellow clingstone in each area in each province. Can you please advise where I can find this statistical data for the past year?

  3. thank you for your papers.they are useful. i am grower in north of Iran.i am interested in to invest on cultivation of peach and nectarine in 2 hectares greenhouse. which of factors are important? is it necessary i establish a modern greenhouse.at present i have 2 Ha nectarine orchards .with best regards and thank you. sabooroo

Protected Agriculture Stories
Blueberries under high tunnels
Protected Agriculture
January 4, 2016
Online Course For Year-Round High Tunnel Production Tactics
Michigan State University (MSU) educators will provide hoop house and high tunnel users with cropping information and management strategies. Read More
Hydroponic-managed citrus trees at UF/IFAS CREC
Insect & Disease Update
December 17, 2015
Growers, Scientists Seeking Shelter From Citrus Greening
Researchers are studying the fit for screenhouse production to exclude psyllids. Read More
Tomatoes_generic
Protected Agriculture
December 3, 2015
The Flavor Dilemma When Comparing Apples To Greenhouse Tomatoes
Focus more on the flavor of your greenhouse tomatoes and de-emphasize yield — for now. Read More
Increased customer demand led Good Harvest Farms to add hydroponic lettuce in 2000.
 Photo credit: Nexus Corp.
Protected Agriculture
November 2, 2015
Do Your Homework When Shifting To Veggies
Ornamental grower Good Harvest Farms began growing hydroponic lettuce 15 years ago. Owner Chris Powell says having a reliable market and emphasizing quality are critical. Read More
Variety of crops inside high tunnel-riased beds for web
Production
October 30, 2015
Key Considerations When Growing Under Cover
Some critical points to think about before adding a controlled environment component to your operation include market, structures, crop choice, and labor. Read More
Local Appetite produces hydroponic lettuce and other leafy greens in high tunnels.
Photo credit: Local Appetite Growers
Protected Agriculture
October 30, 2015
Making The Move To Protected Agriculture
High tunnels have helped one Alabama grower produce high-quality crops year-round while providing a significant return on investment. Read More
This row of tomatoes with large fruit load is part of an on-going project with DeRuiter Seed Co. 
for variety trial testing for 
semi-arid, high-light regions. 
Photo Credit: UA-CEAC/DeRuiter Seed Co.
Production
October 29, 2015
5 Trends In Protected Ag Or Controlled Environment Agriculture
Take these trends into consideration if you plan to grow under cover or want to expand your operation. Read More
The Latest
Protected Agriculture
February 2, 2016
Researchers To Study The Benefits Of Mov…
The potential advantages of the movable structures compared to field production and permanent high tunnel structures will be evaluated. Read More
Production
January 14, 2016
State Of The Vegetable Industry Survey S…
Vegetable growers embark on 2016 with cautious optimism as many plan to either increase production or keep their acreage the same as last year. Read More
Protected Agriculture
January 12, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Breaks Ground For Phas…
Fifteen-acre facility to be completed this summer; plans for the site call for Phase III to begin construction this spring. Read More
Protected Agriculture
January 4, 2016
Online Course For Year-Round High Tunnel…
Michigan State University (MSU) educators will provide hoop house and high tunnel users with cropping information and management strategies. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
December 17, 2015
Growers, Scientists Seeking Shelter From…
Researchers are studying the fit for screenhouse production to exclude psyllids. Read More
Protected Agriculture
December 3, 2015
The Flavor Dilemma When Comparing Apples…
Focus more on the flavor of your greenhouse tomatoes and de-emphasize yield — for now. Read More
Protected Agriculture
November 2, 2015
Do Your Homework When Shifting To Veggi…
Ornamental grower Good Harvest Farms began growing hydroponic lettuce 15 years ago. Owner Chris Powell says having a reliable market and emphasizing quality are critical. Read More
Production
October 30, 2015
Key Considerations When Growing Under Co…
Some critical points to think about before adding a controlled environment component to your operation include market, structures, crop choice, and labor. Read More
Protected Agriculture
October 30, 2015
Making The Move To Protected Agriculture
High tunnels have helped one Alabama grower produce high-quality crops year-round while providing a significant return on investment. Read More
Production
October 29, 2015
5 Trends In Protected Ag Or Controlled E…
Take these trends into consideration if you plan to grow under cover or want to expand your operation. Read More
Production
September 28, 2015
New Hampshire Researchers Develop New Ch…
The tomato is designed to grow in hanging baskets in greenhouses. Read More
Protected Agriculture
August 25, 2015
Disease Resistance Is A Priority In Gree…
When choosing varieties for the greenhouse keep in mind that they are bred for greenhouse conditions, such as lower light, higher humidity, and higher temperature. Read More
Production
June 1, 2015
8 Production Tips For Greenhouse Product…
This month, I’d like to offer eight “quick and dirty” tips that will help beginning growers as well as seasoned Read More
Production
June 1, 2015
Low Tunnels Aid In Overwintering Onions
Inexpensive structures provide surprising winter protection and potential marketing opportunities in cold climates. Read More
Production
May 31, 2015
Year-Round Production With High Tunnels
Producing crops year-round may be business as usual for growers in places like California and Florida, but for a small-scale Read More
Production
May 28, 2015
NMSU Researchers Use Protected Agricultu…
The demand for safe, nutritious, affordable local food, particularly for fresh fruits and vegetables, is rising in New Mexico. However, Read More
Protected Agriculture
May 20, 2015
Interest Continues To Grow In Protected …
Inside move could put producers in prime scoring position. Read More
Citrus
May 19, 2015
Bad Weather Or Not, Preparation Always O…
You cannot prevent a natural disaster from taking everything you have, but you can lessen the blow if and when it happens. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]