published on June 1, 2017 - 1:57 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

California tomato processors have reported contracts for 11.8 million tons of processing tomatoes for 2017 — a 5.8 percent decrease from the final contracted production last year.

That’s the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which also reported that contracted acreage in May was 235,000, 9.6 percent below last year’s final contracted acreage.

Fresno County remains California’s top county for processing tomatoes — used for products including pasta and tomato sauce. Fresno County this year has nearly 80,000 acres of processing tomatoes in production. Yolo, Kings, San Joaquin and Merced counties make up the remaining top five counties for contracted, planted acreage.

The weather did have an adverse effect on the crop, according to NASS.

“The wet weather eased drought concerns and increased available surface water from the state and federal water projects,” according to a news release. “It did however, lead to rain delays and flooded fields early in the planting season and a lag in crop maturity compared to 2016. Despite these issues, the crop is progressing well and harvest is expected to be on schedule with the San Joaquin Valley starting in early July. The harvest season is expected to last through mid-October.”

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