Peach & Nectarine in California
California leads the nation in production of peach and nectarine (Prunus persica). In 2013, 24,000 acres of California clingstone peaches produced a crop of 368,000 tons of fruit valued at $133,865,000; 22,000 acres of California freestone peaches produced a crop of 280,000 tons valued at $144,418,000. This California crop of 648,000 tons represents 70% of the national peach production. Nectarines on 18,000 acres in the state produced a crop of 150,000 tons with a vaue of $117,000,000.(USDA 2014)
Nectarine (Prunus persica var. nectarina) is a “fuzzless” peach with a tendency to have sweeter flesh, than the more acidic peach. The lack of pubescent skin is the result of a recessive gene. Nectarine gained popularity in the 1950’s when breeding allowed for firmer flesh and better post-harvest handling and longevity.