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West Coast Heat To Turn Up Revenue For KY Farmers

July 2017 UK Economic and Policy Update

  Hot temperatures in California and Arizona could heat up sales for some Kentucky fruit farmers. USDA market reports show cantaloupe continues to rise in price as 120 degree temperatures throughout the west coast affect both cantaloupe and peach harvesting. Alex Butler with the University of Kentucky Department of Agriculture Economics said this is a potential opportunity to capitalize on a market supply shortage.

“It's kind of an old saying Kentucky has a good peach year one out of every five years. So, it just so happens that this year we had a really good peach year. And some of the other big peach producing states didn’t have that kind of year.” Butler said.

Credit July 2017 UK Economic and Policy Update
Average 2017 half-carton cantaloupe price at the St. Louis Market for California and Arizona fruit.

  Butler said peaches and cantaloupe are up nearly 75 cents per lb compared to last year.  


Kentucky’s cantaloupe producers reside mostly in its south central and western parts of the state. Approximately 600 acres of peaches are also spread out across the Commonwealth.

Cantaloupe can be find in markets between mid July to early August. Peaches are typically available between mid June to mid August.


Nicole Erwin is a Murray native and started working at WKMS during her time at Murray State University as a Psychology undergraduate student. Nicole left her job as a PTL dispatcher to join the newsroom after she was hired by former News Director Bryan Bartlett. Since, Nicole has completed a Masters in Sustainable Development from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia where she lived for 2 1/2 years.