As of May 15, California’s tomato processors reported they have or will have contracts for 11.8 million tons of processing tomatoes for 2017. This production is a 1.7 percent increase from the January intentions forecast and a 5.8 percent decrease from the final contracted production total from last year.
The May contracted acreage of 235,000 is unchanged from the January intentions forecast and 9.6 percent below last year’s final contracted acreage.
Fresno County remains the top California County in contracted planted acreage for 2017 with 79,800 acres. Yolo, Kings, San Joaquin, and Merced make up the remaining top five counties for contracted planted acreage. These counties make up 76 percent of the 2017 total contracted planted acreage for California.
After five years of drought, California experienced a wet winter and spring with precipitation ranging between 200% of normal in northern California and 150% of normal in Southern California. The wet weather eased drought concerns and increased available surface water from the state and federal water projects. It did, however, lead to rain delays and flooded fields early in the planting season and a lag in crop maturity compared to 2016. Despite these issues, the crop is progressing well and harvest is expected to be on schedule with the San Joaquin Valley starting in early July. The harvest season is expected to last through mid-October.
Read the full California Processing Tomato Report. (.pdf)