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More acreage dedicated to persimmon production in California
Growers and distributors of persimmons are enjoying good yields and a strong market that keeps growing every year. Persimmons of both major varieties, the Fuyu and Hachiya, are now in season in California.
"The persimmon growing season in California began a few weeks ago and generally flows from south to north," said Kurt Cappelutti, of Stellar Distributing. "We start off in Bakersfield in the south and then they grow as far up as Fresno and Madera. Both the Fuyu and Hachiya are available right now and we are seeing good yields from both. Weather has played a factor, with heat waves in some months affecting sizing to a limited extent. But we've also had a lot of rain right throughout the San Joachim Valley which helps everybody."
Good demand and strong market
The growth in the production of persimmons in California has been met with equally growing demand. While the fruit may not be on the top of everyone's shopping list, it is now widely available in stores and growers are adding acreage to meet that demand.
"We have put in an extra 240 acres in the last 5 years or so, which has given us 3 times more persimmons to sell," continued Cappelutti. "As yet, there hasn't been a year where we have had an oversupply. Persimmons are definitely more popular than they were 10 years ago. Fuyu are the fresh market variety and Hachiya are generally used more for cooking and baking. Both varieties are experiencing an increase on the market and are now seen in most mainstream supermarkets."
"Right now, the market is very solid with both yield and quality coming through very positively," he added. "Prices are strong but well balanced and that's the best way to ensure a sustainable and steady market for everyone in the supply chain. There has been some higher cost pressure, particularly in California with the higher labor costs but the market has been able to absorb that so far. Stellar are pleased that we're able to supply persimmons of such high quality to our customers right through to the middle of January and we look forward to continuing in that manner."
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