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Growing a perennial fruit crop such as peaches offers the small land owner the opportunity for intensive cultivation of a high value crop with considerably higher return potential than traditional agricultural enterprises. Managing commercial orchards is very labor intensive, but with proper planning, a small scale commercial enterprise can be undertaken by a single person with perhaps some additional help at peak labor periods such as thinning and harvest. Even with a good orchard site commercial growers across the state typically lose an entire crop to spring frost on average one in seven years. In addition to spring frost, excessively mild winters, hail storms and excessively dry or wet weather conditions also impact the fruit crop and the trees themselves.
Major considerations in starting a peach orchard crops include variety selection, an understanding of how sites impact these plants over time, comprehending the concepts of pruning, training and canopy management. To be economically and personally rewarding, prospective growers will need to dedicate the time and effort to maintaining these plots in a manicured state. Finally, proper marketing is essential to economic sustainability. Growers should know exactly how and where a crop will be marketed before the trees are planted.