Contracted production for California processing tomatoes is forecast at 12.8 million tons, averaging 49.6 tons per acre. The current forecasted production is 11 percent below the 2015 crop, and
2 percent below the May forecast.
Drought conditions and hot weather lead to an early start to the harvest season. Harvest began in mid-June in the southern growing areas. The harvest is expected to run through mid-October. The 2016 crop has experienced higher disease and pest pressures than last year. In addition, while the drought impact has lessened for some growers, others continue to deal with limited water supplies. The projected harvested acreage of tomatoes is 258,000 acres, a 13 percent decrease from 2015.
The shipping reports published by the Processing Tomato Advisory Board show that shipments through August 20, 2016 are running 15 percent below those of 2015.