Stone fruit is a generic term used to describe fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries, which feature a layer of fleshy, edible pulp surrounding a relatively large, hard pit (the "stone") that shields and protects a seed. In the past 60 years, breeders at the University of Florida have developed stone fruit varieties commercially viable in Florida. The breeding program has been focusing to develop low-chill stone fruit cultivars, mostly peaches with non-melting flesh that perform well in Florida’s subtropical climate.
The subtropical stone fruit industry in Florida aspires to be a sustainable, profitable and growing sector by producing high-quality fruit that meets and exceed consumers' expectations. Our mission for the stone fruit research and extension programs is to help expand the Florida stone fruit industry by conducting appropriate research and extension projects. We work with various UF/IFAS stations and several multi-county extension agents around the state to address establishment and production issues in stone fruit. We are also responsible for effective communication transfer of research results and improvements in stone fruit production with the goal of expanding a competitive stone fruit industry in Florida. We welcome growers' feedback and industry participation.