FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CONTACT:   DONN ZEA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

CALIFORNIA DRIED PLUM BOARD

TELEPHONE: (916) 565-6232

E-MAIL: dzea@cdpb.org

 2016 CALIFORNIA DRIED PLUM/PRUNE CROP ESTIMATE CONFIRMS SPRING WEATHER IMPACT 

 

Sacramento, CA (June 2016) - The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) today released a 2016 California dried plum/prune crop estimate of 45,000 short tons, as reported in responses from approximately 45% of growers surveyed.  This estimate reflects a 55% decrease from last year’s estimate of 100,000 short tons, an amount slightly less than the actual reported production of 106,532 tons (as reported by packers to the California Dried Plum Board through the 3rd quarter ending April 2016).

According to Donn Zea, Executive Director, “This significant shortfall comes as no surprise to the industry as growers have been aware of weather-related impacts that affected bee pollination since shortly after the bloom in March.  While total supply will be affected, quality and taste will be of the consistent excellence that have made California prunes the standard-bearer throughout the world.”

The NASS survey also estimates 45,000 bearing acres for 2016, down from the 48,000 estimate for 2015.  Earlier this year an analysis of California prune orchards utilizing multiple data sources estimated the bearing acreage at slightly above 50,000 acres, with approximately 2,000 non-bearing acres.

The California Dried Plum Board nursery sales survey reported 2016 prune tree sales at 525,913 up 17% from 2015’s 448,013 trees.  Nursery sales of prune trees are projected to increase by 27% in 2017 to 669,706 trees.

Zea continued, “Although the short crop can create a budget challenge to the momentum being created by the promotional activities, nutrition research and crop science supported by the California Dried Plum Board, strategic financial planning by the Board of Directors is providing the reserves necessary to maintain our most vital programs through this period.  We are committed to supporting our customers and consumers worldwide in discovering the wonders of California prunes.”