U.S. southeastern peach growers preferences for fruit size and external color versus resistance to brown rot disease

Zongyu Li, R. Karina Gallardo, Vicki A. McCracken, Chengyan Yue, Ksenija Gasic, Gregory Reighard, James R. McFerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


U.S.peach(Prunus persica) growers are challenged by the need to protect their orchards from economically damaging diseases and deliver fruit with the quality expectations of the supply chain. This study focuses on the U.S. southeastern peach sector, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, and Georgia. This region offers a useful case to analyze growers’ preferences for both fruit quality and disease resistance. We collected primary data from peach operations in 2016 and 2018. In both surveys, a discrete choice experiment was used to advance the understanding of how peach growers in the southeastern United States value fruit quality (i.e., fruit size and external color) vs. disease resistance [i.e., brown rot (Monilinia fructicola)]. The sample of growers surveyed in 2016 growers placed a greater importance on the fruit quality attribute that would imply higher returns, that is, fruit size (expressed as fruit diameter) compared with improvements in brown rot resistance and external fruit color. Meanwhile, the sample of growers surveyed in 2018 placed a higher importance to brown rot resistance and external fruit color compared with fruit size. Findings consistent for the 2 years are that growers are willing to pay for larger rather than smaller improvements in brown rot resistance, and that a large improvement in brown rot resistance is more important than external fruit color.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-584
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
5Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634 6Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, 1100 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801 Funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative project ‘‘RosBREED: Combining Disease Resistance with Horticultural Quality’’ (2014-51181-22378).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


  • Decision making
  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Improved cultivars
  • Monilinia fructicola
  • Prunus persica
  • Survey


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