American peach production is forecast to continue its downward trend in 2023, with California and several other key states sharing a portion of the expected decline.

According to USDA’s Economic Research Service, nationwide production is expected to drop 13% in 2023 after already falling 8% between 2019 and 2022. The numbers are similarly dire for California’s specific production, which was 5% smaller in 2022 than the 2019 harvest and 27% smaller than the 2012 crop.

Even still, last year, California — at 475,000 combined tons of clingstone peaches for processing and freestone peaches for fresh consumption — grew seven times more peaches than South Carolina (67,400 tons), the second most productive state, and nearly 20 times that of Georgia (24,800 tons).

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The disparity could be even greater this year. According to ERS, peaches in both states “were beset with challenging weather conditions that included unseasonably warm weather in late winter followed by late spring cold snaps.”

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, California’s production is expected to drop to 445,000 tons this year and down to 23,000 tons in South Carolina and 5,000 tons in Georgia. Combined with production declines elsewhere, the total U.S. production is expected to total roughly 543,000 tons. If realized, it would be the first recorded total production of less than 600,000 tons. 

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