2016 California Dried Plum (Prune) Forecast
The 2016 California dried plum (prune) crop is forecast at 45 thousand tons, down 58 percent from the 107 thousand tons reported to the California Dried Plum Board as produced in 2015. Total 2016 bearing acreage is estimated at 45,000, six percent below the previous year. The French prune variety accounts for virtually all dried plum acreage grown in California. The production forecast is based on a survey of dried plum growers conducted by the USDA, NASS, Pacific Regional Office from May 12-31, 2016.
The survey used a random sampling design based on total dried plum acreage for each operator. The sample is designed to provide a State estimate of production for all growers.
Questionnaires were mailed to growers on April 26, 2016 with return requested by May 12th. Non-respondents were telephoned. Responses were received from 217 growers whose acres represent 45 percent of the total bearing acreage.
The 2016 dried plum season appears to be very difficult. Storms, with cold, wet, and windy weather, created problems during the bloom and adverse conditions for bees during the height of the pollination period. If the forecast is realized, this year’s crop would be the smallest on record since official estimates began in 1920.
Read the full report (.pdf)