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2009 plum forecast up 32 percent

The 2009 California dried plum (prune) crop is forecast at 170,000 tons, up 32 percent from the 129,000 tons produced in 2008. Total 2009 bearing acreage is estimated at 64,000.

The French prune variety accounts for 97 percent of all dried plum acreage grown in California.

The 2009 dried plum crop has experienced ideal weather conditions. Bloom was reported to be excellent, and growers have been busy thinning fruit due to the large set. The crop is reported to be of excellent quality with good sizes.

The production forecast is based on a May 11-12 survey of dried plum growers conducted by the California field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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