Weekly Deliveries of California TomatoesAt 11.94 million tons, California’s processed tomato crop missed preseason expectations by 2.13%. A cool, wet spring delayed the harvest two weeks and a heavy, early season rain cut the season short, causing the crop to miss its preseason fore‐ cast of 12.2 million tons.

Going into this season, packers and growers were not too concerned about starting two weeks behind schedule. For the last few years, volume was picked up on the back end as outstanding weather in the fall extended the

season. But this year, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. Deliveries ramped up slower, not peaking as early as last year, and rain caused losses in later fields.

The unusually heavy rain storm drenched fields October 3– 5. During that week, growers were unable to deliver 36% of their expectations as harvesters couldn’t get into the fields. Processors expected 917,808 tons to be harvested the week ending October 8th, but only 586,848 tons arrived at factories.

For the remainder of the season, processors battled issues with mold, most stopped trying by the middle of October.

Across the state, field yields were mixed. The southern part of the state reportedly hit yields about 5% above expectations, while yields in the North were about 8% below forecast.

Since over 80% of the crop is grown in the South, the statewide average yield is estimated to be in excess of 46 tons per acres, which is still a record. Drip irrigation, specialized tomato varieties, and ever improv‐ ing horticultural practices are credited for improving yields.

Growing conditions in California this year created tomatoes with exceptional color. Color scores this good are rarely seen. Only 2007 recorded better color according to the Processing Tomato Advisory Board (PTAB).

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