While Georgia is on many consumers’ minds when it comes to fresh peaches, California is by far the largest peach-producing state in the United States.
USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that last year, California’s harvest yielded 475,000 tons of fruit, with South Carolina second at 67,400 tons, and Georgia in third place with production at 24,800 tons.
California has been the leading producer of freestone peaches for the fresh market and clingstone peaches for processing. However, the state’s peach production has been trending lower for almost two decades, contributing to an overall drop in U.S. peach production. Total production in the United States in 2022 was estimated at 625,680 tons, eight percent smaller than the crop in 2019. In 2022, California’s peach harvest was about five percent smaller than in 2019 and nearly 27 percent lower than ten years earlier. USDA forecasts 2023 peach production 13 percent lower than last year.