Organic Tomatoes – Because of the California cooler temperatures of mid-July we were able to spread out our packing schedule and allow more of our organic tomatoes to ripen on the vine. This action increased tons per acre, for the first 12 days of our pack, however, our final extended weekend of harvest and production turned greatly disappointing in terms of overall tons and case yield. We had initially anticipated an organic tomato shortage of approximately 10% of need due to a May 19th hail storm and subsequent early June rain storm that hit California’s southern tomato growing area directly. However, with the aforementioned evaporation of useable organic tomato tons on our final four days, we find ourselves approximately 23% short of anticipated demand. This is upsetting and disappointing news to share, but we feel it is important to discuss with our valued customers and associates right away as opposed to surprising our trade later in the year, when all of us have fewer alternatives to turn to in relief of this constrained supply.
We feel that we have weathered the 2019 summer misfortunes better than most growers and processors in the state of California, but we are still going to be significantly impacted by this less than ideal 2019 organic tomato summer crop.
Pear Shapes – The crop is maturing nicely and will be ready to harvest next week. Expecting average yields this year.
Conventionals – The crop is ripening as expected. Fruit quality is looking great on early, mid, and late season plantings. Anticipated harvest is eight to twelve days away.
Organic peaches as well as extra early varietal harvest to finish up this week. Early varieties have begun with increased speed and volumes expected next week. Forecasted heat through the weekend may help speed fruit ripening. Thinning practices conducted pre-harvest are proving beneficial creating nice fruit size. Some later variety field growers are sending crews back through for thinning to ensure varieties gain ample size prior to picking. Fruit hauling is facing traffic challenges on highways due to trucks hauling out Paradise fire debris.
Cherry harvest is 90% complete. Cherry deliveries will slow down this week and continue for the following two weeks until its completion.
Grape crop is growing and in maintenance mode. Brix levels are currently from 14-15. Generally, sugar increases a point a week with harvest starting when brix are approaching 15. Based on this, the anticipated harvest date is August 1st. Growers are applying irrigation as needed for quality and size. Cultural practices continue.
Harvest officially began July 19th in the River and Linden districts with deliveries of conventionals to start early August. We have received 4 loads of organics with more anticipated this week. Other areas are still at least a week out from harvest starting.
Harvest began June 20th and completed July 12th. Our estimated tonnage was 8,700 tons with our total 2019 tonnage ending at 8,895 tons.