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US (CA): 'Tight, but adequate' supplies of nectarines expected
Days before California's stone fruit harvest begins, growers are optimistic about this year's nectarine crop. Although there was some hail damage from storms in April, the damage does not appear to be as severe as initially thought.
"We're anticipating a really, really good year," said Bob Maxwell, director of sales at Kingsburg Orchards. "In terms of quality, the fruit this year looks to be as good as we've seen in a while." He added that while hail did affect some growers, the extent of the damage wasn't severe for them, so volumes should not be significantly affected.
Echoing Maxwell's feelings about the season, Barry Bedwell, president of the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, noted that the supply of nectarines should be steady this year.
"Overall, we'll have enough California nectarines to meet primary demand," he said. "Supplies might be tight, but they should be adequate." He mentioned that hail probably caused some damage to this year's crop, but as a whole, the state will have steady volumes and good quality fruit.
"Temperatures are ideal right now for the fruit," he said, "so quality should be good, and we predict a good year."
"We've had some challenges this year," he added, "but everyone's looking ahead optimistically."
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