Tomato supplies adequate despite water woes - The Packer

Tomato supplies adequate despite water woes

05/23/2014 09:54:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Los Angeles-based Sun Pacific Shippers will start shipping mature-green and roma tomatoes out of the San Joaquin Valley the second week of June, said salesman Louis Biglieri.

Volume will be similar to last year, he said.

West Coast Tomato Growers, Oceanside, Calif., will start picking its Oceanside Pole brand vine-ripe tomatoes by early July and romas in August, said Aaron Quon, greenhouse vegetable category manager for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, which markets the product.

“The crop is looking really good,” he said. “We expect excellent quality.”

Drought conditions created an added challenge for many growing operations.

“We had to do some maneuvering on our end,” Dolan said. “As far as our customers are concerned, they shouldn’t see any difference compared to any other year.”

Deardorff Family Farms gets some of its water from wells and some from the local water district, Deardorff said.

Growers are subject to mandatory reductions of 20% compared with last year, he said, and have to “juggle things around” to maintain the size of their programs.

“We’re looking for ways to properly manage that and increase efficiencies while maintaining production,” he said.

“This water thing is changing all the time,” Frudden said.

Growers believe they have enough water and then new regulations are issued.

“They come in and pull the carpet out from under you, and all of sudden, you don’t have the water that you thought you had,” he said.

Growers have their fingers crossed, hoping for El Niño conditions later in the year, which would mean heavy rainfall this winter, Frudden said.

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