The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the forecast numbers for California prunes this season and they aren’t good. The report forecasts the prune crop at 45,000 tons, down 58 percent from the 107,000 tons reported to the California Dried Plum Board as produced in 2015.
Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Dani Lightle says the timing couldn’t have been much worse for a few storm systems that rolled through the plum-producing areas. “They had a little bit of, quit literally, a perfect storm,” Lightle says. “They bloomed right when we had a big storm come through the north part of the state. There was a lot of wind, a lot of rain and the bees had almost no hours to fly, so we had very poor pollination in prunes this year.”
NASS Prune Forecast
The 2016 California dried plum (prune) crop is forecast at 45,000 tons, down 58 percent from the 107,000 tons reported to the California Dried Plum Board as produced in 2015. Total 2016 bearing acreage is estimated at 45,000, 6 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 to May 31, 2016. Read more of the report.