Peach production in Indiana has been declining over the last 60 years and currently there are about 400 acres planted in peaches with an annual production of 3.1 million lbs (74,000 bu.). Indiana ranks 25th nationally in peach production, with California heading the list producing 80% of all peaches and nectarines in the country. Peach production in Indiana is concentrated in the southwestern part of the state, with about half the total acres planted in that area. Another 25% of plantings are in south central and southeastern areas of the state. This is primarily due to climate. The Redhaven and Redskin varieties are most widely planted, although another 15 or so varieties are also popular.
Most of the approximately 70 peach growers in Indiana are very small (<5 acres) although most of the production is from the 15 or so larger orchards. The 2 main risk factors for peach production in Indiana are winter freezes and spring frosts. Peaches are quite intolerant of “wet feet” and should be planted on well drained soils. Sloping sites are also preferred to ensure cold air drainage.
Like apples, most peaches are sold directly to the consumer through on farm markets or community farmers’ markets. The average price in 2002 was 73 cents per pound.