Sales of pomegranates have increased in recent years at a pace of 20% annually and total shipments for 2014 are projected to exceed 6 million 25-pound cartons, Tom Tjerandsen, manager of the Sonoma-based Pomegranate Council, said a news release.
The 2014 crop is running ahead of schedule.
“A consistently warm summer has moved our traditional start date forward by about a week,” Ralph Melendez, field operations manager for Slaydeco Inc., Bakersfield, Calif., said in the release.
Melendez said his company expects to harvest the granada pomegranate variety by the last week of July, with high color and a normal range of sizes anticipated. Foothill variety pomegranates will follow in early August, he said in the release.
Growers have been able to secure sufficient water to ensure a normal pomegranate harvest in terms of total volume, range of fruit sizes, sugar and color, Jeff Simonian of Fowler, Calif.-based Simonian Fruit Co., said in the release.
Tom Rouse, from Los Angeles-based PomWonderful, the principal grower/shipper of the wonderful variety, said the company will begin shipping a full range of wonderfuls in late September or early October, as well as fresh arils.