FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
RICHARD PETERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
CALIFORNIA DRIED PLUM BOARD
TELEPHONE: (916) 565-6232

CALIFORNIA DRIED PLUM PRODUCTION NEAR RECORD LOW

Sacramento, CA (September 13, 2004) - The California Dried Plum Board announced at its September 9, 2004 meeting that the 2004 dried plum crop will not reach 50,000 tons. This would be the smallest California dried plum crop since 1918's 45,000 ton crop.

While the California Agricultural Statistics Service had projected the 2004 crop at 70,000 tons in June, the impact of the unseasonably hot and windy weather during the very brief March bloom period was greater than anticipated. As a result of the very poor fruit set, the yield per bearing acre in 2004 is projected at .6 tons versus the recent industry average of 2.25 tons.

With the July 31, 2004 year-end inventory carryout of only 68,833 tons (down 3% from a year ago), the total available supply for 2004 will likely be only about 118,000 tons. This would represent a 51% decline from the 2003 California dried plum supply.