Sneak Peek: June 2024 Specialty Crop Grower Magazine

Clint ThompsonSpecialty Crop Grower Magazine

The cover story of the June issue of Specialty Crop Grower Magazine highlights Spencer McLeod’s pursuit to be the best peach grower in South Carolina. He talks about how his farming operation has expanded to cover 50 different peach varieties and more than 1,000 acres every year.

Speaking of peaches, brown rot disease is an annual challenge for peach producers in Georgia. Fungicide resistance and looming regulatory hurdles make it even more of a challenge, says Phil Brannen, University of Georgia (UGA) fruit disease specialist.

Another story regarding peaches pertains to breeding peaches for climate resilience. Ksenija Gasic talks about her breeding program at Clemson, which she helped start again when joining the university in 2008. She has already received patents for two peach varieties with another pending.

San Jose scale remains a major problem for peach producers to overcome. It has been a significant pest since the early 2000s. Large infestations can occur between harvest and the onset of winter, says Brett Blaauw, UGA entomologist. He emphasizes that scouting for its presence is the first step in the pest’s management.