FORT PIERCE, Fla — Peaches grow on more than 1200 acres throughout Florida. Each year, there are more than 400,000 Florida-grown peaches sold. These Florida peaches are available to consumers in mid-March, well ahead of traditional peach growers in Georgia, and through mid-May.
Ricardo Lesmes-Vesga is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Indian River Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS-IRREC) in Fort Pierce who aims to help farmers grow peaches in Florida’s various production regions. To that end, he aims to develop peach rootstocks specific to those areas and he believes his research findings will help growers who harvest the fruit when the crops are the nation’s sole source for fresh peaches.
In his graduate research program, Lesmes-Vesga phenotypes peach root systems in Florida’s different soil regions.
The research will help peach growers select the correct rootstocks for the soils in which they will produce peaches. The rootstocks identified from the research will improve the sustainability of peach production in Florida.
The following video link shows the science behind the scenes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
–Lourdes Rodriguez, UF/IFAS