New Jersey peach growers are optimistic about this growing season, so much so that they are increasing their yields.

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Jersey growers are planting at least six percent more peach trees this season, according to former Rutgers fruit expert Jerry Frecon, especially in Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland counties. Frecon shares the growers' optimism, but with caution.

"I think our crop should be better as of now, but we know that a lot of things can happen until the fruit matures."

Frecon said many new plantings are designed to extend the season by a couple weeks both early and late, from late June through the end of September.

"Over the past 20 years, we have seen an increase in the types and varieties of peaches we can plant because of global warming. We just don't have the cold winters we used to, which enables growers to worry less about buds freezing and allows for growing some high-quality bud-tender varieties."

"We can grow novel varieties, low acid peaches and white and yellow- fleshed nectarines."

Even with an early bloom for peaches last year, the Agriculture Department reports New Jersey turned out some of the best and sweetest peaches seen in recent years.