PRINCETON, Ky. — Two trees each of ‘Contender,’ ‘Redhaven,’ and eleven named peach and nectarine cultivars from John Clark’s breeding program at Clarksville, Arkansas, were planted in November 2015. Deer, birds, raccoons, and other wildlife, plus frost/freezes in previous years have prevented us from being able to collect yield data from all trees in this planting during a single season. 2021 was the first year that we have been able to collect yield data from all of these cultivars along with their ripening dates and Brix readings (Table 1). All of the nectarine and peach cultivars set full crops in the 2021 season in spite of frosts/freezes during the early part of this year. Flavor and eating quality were generally good across all of these cultivars. Obtaining an acceptable fruit size for the ‘Westbrook’ and ‘Arrington’ nectarines have been a problem for us in spite of our efforts to sufficiently thin these trees. These two cultivars are the earliest ones to ripen in our planting, and early and vigorous thinning is apparently required to get good fruit size for these cultivars. Severe fruit cracking was observed in ‘Amoore Sweet’ and ‘Bowden.’ This cracking may have resulted from the numerous heavy rains sustained this season.
— Dwight Wolfe, Research Specialist, UK Research and Education Center, Princeton, KY
For more news from Kentucky, click here.