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.

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 present i have 2 Ha nectarine orchards .with best regards and thank you. sabooroo

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

Food SafetyUSDA Issues Updates To Food Safety Modernization Act
September 19, 2014
Water testing, definition of applicable farms based on produce sales among clarifications to proposed rules. Read More
GrapesThird Straight Record Crop For Washington Grapes
September 19, 2014
Numbers expected to climb as more vines planted in the state. Read More
GrapesFrench Winegrowers Face Higher Labor Costs
September 19, 2014
French wineries may come under added financial pressure as the government considers imposing social charges on wages paid to harvest workers with short-term contracts. Read More
IrrigationCalifornia Boosts Local Water Control
September 19, 2014
Governor Jerry Brown signs historic legislation to strengthen local management and monitoring of critical groundwater basins. Read More
VegetablesSakata Seed America Shows Heart Through Charitable Prog…
September 19, 2014
Company’s corporate giving mission bears fruit for the American Heart Association. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateAdditional Aid Coming For Florida Citrus Growers Gouged…
September 17, 2014
Through USDA’s Tree Assistance Program, eligible growers can cash in on cost share for diseased tree removal and replanting. Read More
FruitsFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Seeks Fresh A…
September 17, 2014
New partnership bolsters Fresh From Florida program. Read More
CitrusFDA Announces Cooperative Agreement To Implement Nation…
September 17, 2014
Agreement will provide information to help plan and carry out the produce safety rule in partnership with state regulatory agencies. Read More
NutsAchieving A Super-Premium Walnut Crop
September 17, 2014
What are the best ways to get high quality walnuts that are light in color and fully developed? Read these 8 harvest best practices to find out. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers Highly Dependent On Groundwater
September 17, 2014
Fully 87% of large growers use groundwater to irrigate their trees. Read More
NutsWarm Winter And Drought Casting Doubt On Pistachio Harv…
September 17, 2014
Though Rabobank report says that one billion pounds still attainable by 2019. Read More
Crop ProtectionBagrada Bug On The Move In California
September 16, 2014
Find out more on management tactics and what counties are impacted by this invasive pest. Read More
Cucurbits14 Stand-Out Melon Varieties [Slideshow]
September 15, 2014
Browse the slideshow below for information on these exceptional melon varieties from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Grower Achievement AwardView Highlights From The 2014 United Fresh Washington P…
September 15, 2014
Browse this slideshow to view photos from the 2014 United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference, including pictures of this year’s Grower Read More
Apples & PearsCanneries Hope To Encourage Growers To Grow Pears For P…
September 15, 2014
Higher wholesale prices offered as means to boost canning pear acres. Read More
FruitsDeadline Nearing For Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistanc…
September 15, 2014
Fruit growers who suffered losses due to frost or freeze in 2012 could be eligible for assistance through USDA’S Farm Service Agency. Read More
BerriesBotrytis Gray Mold Pressure Increasing With Humid Weath…
September 15, 2014
Michigan State University researcher offers tips to reduce the spread of spores. Read More
Fruits5 Mistakes You May Be Making With Your Orchard’s …
September 15, 2014
These deadly sins may be hurting your customers’ experience — and costing you money. Read More