Extra Early harvest should conclude this week in the Modesto/Madera area. It does look like we will come up short of our pre-season block-by-block estimate. Early variety harvest started on July 19th. Organic harvest finished up on July 22nd; fruit quality was good.
All three of the Extra Early varieties are being picked in the Yuba City area. Loadels are around 75% completed. Stanislaus and Carson are ripe and are in full swing. We expect some Klamath to be picked early next week and Kingsburg at the end of this week. Growers are still looking for more labor to pick fruit because the labor market is very tight.
We received our first loads from the River and Linden Districts on Friday July 14th. We started the pear sizer last week and the fruit is small. Loads should pick up the first part of next week.
Fruit size in the Lake and Mendocino Districts are more normal than in the River District. Growers in Lake County are anticipating a start date of August 7th.
Anticipated harvest start date for Bakersfield is July 31st. Sunburn damage can be seen throughout most blocks and volume is off slightly. Sugar samples will be taken in Madera in a week or two. Anticipated start date in Madera will be sometime during the second week of August.
Apricot harvest finished up onJune 27th. Most growers came up short of their original estimates. Only two growers reached their PCP membership tonnage. The short crop has impacted all players in the apricot industry. On the bright side, size and quality of the fruit was very good.
Organics – Harvest is going well. Crop continues to look good.
Pear Tomatoes – Crop is maturing nicely and looks to be ready to harvest towards the end of this month.
Conventional Tomatoes – The early season crop is maturing nicely and appears it will also be ready to harvest at the end of this month. Mid-season and the late season crop is progressing as expected.
The Northwest cherry harvest continues and will go through the end of August. The weather has been pleasant with moderate temperatures with a few days over 100° F. The mid-season and late cherries have good size, color and firmness.
New production started in early April but they are off to a slow start. The initial harvest of oysters is weak with raw materials being on the smaller size. Packers forecast that raw material size and volume will improve by early May. Overall, growers and production facilities are forecasting similar volumes to 2016. Oyster harvest is March through July for both Korea and China; boiled production is March through May and smoked is June through July.
Our mandarins come from the Zhejiang and Hubei Regions. Zhejiang is one of the most densely populated and affluent provinces in China. Zhejiang is among the leading Chinese provinces in farm productivity and leads in the production of tea and in fishing. The Province area is 101 thousand square kilometers and has a population of 54.43 million people. Hubei, a province with numerous rivers and lakes, has been called the “land of thousand lakes”. Hubei has been said to be one of the originating places of the Chinese people. The Province has an area of 180 thousand square kilometers and a population of 57.24 million people.
The average mandarin fruit cost in Zhejiang is higher than the initial projections and the average fruit costs in Hubei are relatively in line. The fruits output dropped 40-50% in Zhejiang, and the fruits output increased by 40-50% in Hubei, which are in line with estimations (the Zhejiang province exports 67% and Hubei exports 4%). The fruits in Zhejiang were soft and loose before December, so almost all Zhejiang factories bought fruits from Hubei until late December. Beginning in 2017, Zhejiang factories began to use local fruits. Canned Mandarins are by far the most canned exported fruit from China (peaches, pears, lychee, pineapple and cherries are also exported from China). Mandarin Orange harvest is middle of October through January.
Production: Pineapple in Thailand grows year-round. However, the volume at this time does not support a year-round production. The Thailand summer production is March through June; Thailand winter production is the middle of September through February. Indonesia production is year-round with a one month break in July.
Thailand Crop Update: Less than a year after the end of El Niño, weather forecasters around the world are predicting that it may come back and cause a drier-than-normal condition in Southeast Asia to develop around July to August and last through the end of this year. The 2016 winter crop has almost ended and the quality of raw material did not improve. The fruit was immature, un-ripe and small in size with high nitrate levels and low recovery percentage (solids and juice). If El Niño were to return for 2017, it will dry up the Thailand crop output, especially the winter crop output.