Nevertheless, Brux said, California growers are committed to the variety, and quality continues to improve year by year.
California-grown gold kiwifruit was first marketed by Zespri in 2004.
The number of bearing acres of California gold kiwifruit is expected to plummet from 388 in 2007-2008 to 100 in 2008-2009, said Alex Ott, president of the California Kiwifruit Commission, Fresno.
“I don’t think it’s performed so well in the state,” he said. “Some growers have had success, but it’s been very isolated.”
Based on limited conversations Ott has had with growers, he said climactic conditions in many California growing areas are different enough from New Zealand to limit gold growers’ success in the Golden State.
The Delta region in Northern California has been one area where golds have grown well, Ott said, thanks to the region’s similarity to New Zealand’s warm days, cool nights and relatively high humidity.