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Processing tomato contracts up 2 percent

California processing tomato contract tonnage totals 11 million tons.

As of May 15, California's tomato processors reported they have or will have contracts for 11.4 million tons of processing tomatoes for 2006. This production is 2 percent more than the contracted production of last year.

The production for 2006 is expected to come from 288,000 acres. The estimated acreage is 10 percent more than last year's contracted planted acres. The June acreage is 2 percent less than the January intentions forecast of 293,000 acres.

Fresno County retains the top spot over all the counties in contracted planted acreage for 2006 with 111,000 acres. San Joaquin County grabbed the number two position with 38,800 contracted planted acres. Rounding out the top five counties for contracted planted acreage in 2006 were Yolo, Kings, and Colusa.

Heavy and seasonally late precipitation disrupted the processing tomato planting schedule. With wet weather conditions, many growing areas experienced planting delays, which will potentially affect harvest schedules and perhaps production. Growers were hindered from entering their fields due o muddy conditions and flooded fields. Yields could be affected as a result of heavy equipment compacting the wet soil. Heavy rains last year were earlier and concentrated over a few days compared to this year; heavy rains fell continuously for a few weeks during March and most of April.

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