California nectarine deal looking to rebound from dismal 2009

05/13/2010 02:30:21 PM
Don Schrack

Kingsburg Orchards, Kingsburg, is scheduled to ship more than a dozen varieties of nectarines by the end of May, said Dan Spain, vice president of sales and marketing. Six of the nectarine varieties are proprietary.

Among the yellow-flesh varieties, Kingsburg Orchards was scheduled to start packing ruby fires on April 23. The company’s first patented yellow-flesh nectarine, honey may, was to start April 28 with another proprietary variety, red jewel, scheduled for harvest beginning May 28.

Four patented varieties should kick off the Kingsburg Orchards’ white-flesh nectarine season, Spain said.

“The May pearl harvest will begin May 8,” he said, “and we’ll follow with polar ice on May 11.”

Picking of two other proprietary varieties that have yet to be named are 626 on May 11 and 558 on May 15, Spain said.

The nectarine focus at Sun World International LLC, Bakersfield, is heavily on a recently patented variety, said Gene Coughlin, a category manager.

“Overall, our stone fruit volume will be up over last year, but we’re still experimenting with this block of nectarines,” he said.

Volume of the unnamed variety should hit 4,000 cartons, he said.

Stone fruit volume at Sunwest Fruit Co. Inc., Parlier, is expected to be up over 2009 as much as 15%, said Jesse Silva, salesman.

The increase will be due in part to acquired acreage and newer orchards coming into production, he said.

“We should begin harvesting our first zee fire nectarines about mid-May,” Silva said.

The company’s white-flesh nectarine season will begin about June 1, he said.


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