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US (CA): Steady garlic market anticipated
Several weeks before garlic fields in Southern California are irrigated for the last time before harvest, growers are expecting a crop similar to those of previous years.
Heavy storms which have affected other crops throughout the state have not affected preparations for this year's harvest, says John Duffus of The Garlic Company in Bakersfield. He notes that it would take exceptionally intense hail in growing regions or heavy rains much later in the year to disrupt this year's crop.
"The only thing is that some farmers didn't have to irrigate for a couple of days," he says. It would take heavy rains after they stopped irrigating to affect the crop, and that's still six weeks away. But barring that kind of setback, this year's volume looks to be average.
"In general, we're expecting an average crop," he says. "Though we had a dry winter, everything was planted on time and the crop's behaving normally." The garlic is now starting to bulb, and though harvest is several weeks away and weather conditions could change things, all things seem to be on track.
"As an industry," he notes, "we planted a normal-sized crop in anticipation of a normal market."
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