The recent shot of rain hit a few orchards, but no damage has been reported. Fruit size and quality continue to look good. Organic harvest began on June 5th as expected. Fruit quality and size look great. Organic harvest will continue into July. It still appears we will be short on our organic tonnage, but size could make up for some of this. Peach thinning continues in the north and should wrap up in the next few weeks. Block by Block numbers are in and totals will be calculated within the week.
Both districts continue to report that they have a decent crop. Fruit has finally turned down. Temperatures were cooler last week, so the fruit has not grown much. Growers in the River and Linden districts estimate harvest start date around July 12th. Mendocino and Lake district growers anticipate harvest to start at the end of July.
Berry softening should begin in the Bakersfield area soon. Berries continue to size and softening is a couple weeks away in Madera. Both growers are irrigating normally. Crop potential continues to look adequate.
Apricot harvest began on June 9th. Most growers are starting out slow – picking the edges of their orchards where fruit tends to ripen earlier. The crop looks to be a little short but size and quality look good.
Organics: Crop continues to look good. Plants are looking healthy and fruit is maturing nice. There looks to be a few more days before we start to see some real color. Harvest is predicted to begin around July 10th and should last approximately 14 days.
Pear Tomatoes: Fruit is maturing as expected and plants are also looking healthy. They are developing a good canopy, and pea size to dime size fruit are appearing with regularity. Predicted harvest is likely to immediately follow the organic harvest.
Conventional Tomatoes: Our outlook is still looking positive. Temperatures last week were running a little below normal. This week’s temperature prediction is expected to be normal. This should give the crop a nice growth spurt.
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.