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California Vegetable Review: Tomatoes, asparagus

The latest California Vegetable Review report from the Sacramento, Calif., Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service: 

Contracted processing tomato production

2010 California contracted processing tomato production is forecast at 12.3 million tons, 6 percent below 2009. The acreage, at 268,000 acres, decreased 12 percent from a year earlier.

The yield is forecast at 45.9 tons per acre, 6 percent above last year’s 43.23 tons per acre.

In California, the season got off to a slow start due to cool temperatures and wet conditions. By August, the harvest was well underway.

Nationally, contracted tomato production is forecast at 12.8 million tons, down 7 percent from last year. A decline of 12 percent in contracted harvested area is accompanied by a yield increase of 2.2 tons per acre.


2010 California asparagus production is estimated at 345,000 hundredweight (cwt), down 14 percent from 2009. The harvested acreage was reduced by 8 percent from the 2009 season to the 2010 season.

The yield is estimated at 30 cwt., down 6 percent from last year.

Timely showers and mild temperatures in the Salinas and San Joaquin valleys provided favorable growing conditions for asparagus. Harvest was delayed in February due to muddy field conditions. Harvest was complete in most areas of California by mid-July.

Nationally, production from the 2010 asparagus crop is forecast at 741,000 cwt., down 18 percent from last year. The harvested area, at 28,000 acres, is down 4 percent from 2009. Fresh production of 621,000 cwt. is down 12 percent from a year ago. Processed production, at 6,000 tons, is down 39 percent from 2009.

Spring onions

California's 2010 spring onion production is estimated at 2.54 million cwt., up 3 percent from the previous year. The yield calculates to 410 cwt. per acre, unchanged from 2009.

The planting of spring onions in California began in most areas by December. Cool and wet weather was reported during the growing season.

The end-of-season spring onion production estimate for the U.S., at 7.66 million cwt., is down 11 percent from last year. The area harvested, at 25.9 thousand acres, is down 5 percent from a year ago, and yield, at 296 cwt. per acre, is down 19 cwt. per acre from 2009.

The value of the U.S. spring onion crop is estimated at $305 million dollars, 61 percent more than last year. 

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