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Processing tomato acreage expected to be up 20 percent

California processing tomato production is forecast at 12 million tons, up 20 percent from the weather-reduced 2006 crop, according to USDA/NASS.

The tomato crop is expected to be on schedule and processors are anticipating a good growing season. In Indiana, prospects for a good crop look positive due to plenty of precipitation during the winter months.

California’s estimate is based on a survey of processors that was conducted in January. Updated acreage and production will be available May 31.

Nationally, contracts with growers cover 322,900 acres in 2007, up 8 percent from last year. California acreage is expected to be about 305,000 acres.

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