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California Processing Tomato Crop Forecast Below May’s Expectation

Contracted production for California processing tomatoes is forecast at 11.1 million tons, averaging 48.9 tons per acre. The current production forecast is 1.9% below last year’s contracted production, and 4.3% below the May forecast. The projected harvested acreage of tomatoes grown under contract is 227,000 acres, which 0.4% lower than in 2020. Drought concerns impacted planting decisions for the 2021 …

The Threat of Branched Broomrape for California Processing Tomato

Branched broomrape (Phelipanche ramosa), a parasitic weed that was the focus of a $1.5 million eradication effort four decades ago in California, has recently re-emerged in tomato fields in several Central Valley counties. Processing tomatoes are important to the California agricultural economy; the state produced over 90% of the 12 million tons of tomatoes grown in the United States in …

NASA Funds Tiny Tomatoes for Vertical Farming on Earth and Space

Urban agriculture offers many benefits for food production but often has higher costs relative to traditional farming and is limited to only a few crops. By 2050, there will be nine billion people on the planet, but arable land is decreasing. Global food production will need to double to meet food needs, though climate change complicates the problem more. Robert …

Numerous Health Benefits Found in Summer-Favorite Watermelon

No summer barbecue is complete without fresh watermelon. As the nation moves towards the summer grilling season, you may want to consider how watermelon’s fruit chemistry can affect your overall health. Researchers in the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) recently identified over 1,500 small molecules of diverse chemical characters in the fruit, known as phytochemicals. They concluded that eating watermelon …

Fresno County Dominates CA Processing Tomato Production

The USDA-NASS Pacific Regional Office surveyed California’s tomato processors for their final acreage and tonnage for the 2020 season. The reported data is summarized by county and listed with final 2019 acres, yield and production for comparison. In 2020, there were 234,000 acres of processing tomatoes planted in California, a decrease of 1,000 acres compared to 2019. An estimated 228,000 …

New Cherry Ember Tomato Reveals Stripey Charm, Bright Flavor

Cherry tomatoes are a staple in home gardens, farm fields and local food markets, but growing them can be a challenging undertaking. Now, a new variety from Cornell AgriTech provides improved yield and shelf-life while enhancing both visual and culinary appeal. A cross between heirloom tomato varieties, Cherry Ember was developed by Phillip Griffiths, associate professor of horticulture in the School of Integrative …

CA Utilized Vegetable Production Value Shows Slight Decline

California leads the nation in vegetable production, accounting for 39% of the U.S. vegetable acreage. The value of California’s 2020 utilized vegetable production dropped 0.9% to $7.68 billion compared to 2019’s value of $7.74 billion according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Pacific Regional Field Office. Despite the decrease in state’s overall total value of utilized production, crops showing an increase …

USDA Announces National Watermelon Promotion Board Appointments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of nine members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2023. Members newly appointed or reappointed are: District 1 Producer: Kyler Bishop, Punta Gorda, Florida District 1 Producer: Chad Chastain, Punta Gorda, Florida District 1 Handler: Stephen …

Watermelon Board Fall-Winter Marketing Tactics

On the heels of strategic planning and virtual Board meeting, which took place October 23, National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) is entering in to the fall and winter months well-positioned to strengthen demand for watermelon. Considering more than 30% of watermelon is consumed in the fall/winter months, year-round promotion is an integral part of NWPB programs. While each department at …

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