As of May 15, California’s tomato processors reported they have or will have contracts for 12.0 million tons of processing tomatoes for 2020. This production estimate is unchanged from the January intentions forecast and 7.8 percent above the final 2019 contracted production total. The May contracted acreage of 235,000 is also unchanged from the January intentions forecast and 1,000 acres above last year’s final contracted acreage.
Fresno County remains the top California County in contracted planted acreage for 2020 with 72,300 acres. Yolo, Merced, Kings and San Joaquin make up the remaining top five counties, accounting for 75 percent of the 2020 total contracted planted acreage for California.
Dry winter weather caused some concern for water availability. Despite a few rain storms in March and April, planting was on schedule and the warm temperatures through spring helped with early crop development. An unusual heat wave at the end of May required more irrigation than normal for this time of year. There were no reports of disease or pest issues.
This early processing tomato estimate is funded by the California League of Food Producers, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.