The 2008 California Freestone peach crop forecast is 430,000 tons, unchanged from the 2007 crop, according to USDA-NASS, California field office. Bearing acreage is estimated at 36,000, resulting in a yield of 11.9 tons per acre.
California experienced an adequate number of chilling hours, thus benefiting the Freestone crop. Weather during the bloom period was very accommodating, although cooler spring temperatures have slowed maturity slightly. The crop is reported to be of excellent quality, with good sizes. Harvest began the middle of April with the April Snow and the Snow Angel varieties.
The 2008 California Clingstone peach crop forecast is 400,000 tons, down 20 percent from the 2007 crop. Bearing acreage is estimated at 25,300, resulting in a yield of 15.8 tons per acre.
The Clingstone crop also received an adequate number of chilling hours this year and weather during bloom was favorable. However, during April the crop suffered extensive frost damage. Growers are still assessing their crop damage.
Fruit in the northern growing areas was hit the hardest by the frost, while fruit in the Modesto area suffered moderate damage, and fruit in southern areas was not affected.