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US (CA): Early apricots command good prices
While most of California's apricot harvest will take place later this month, early apricots on the market are enjoying strong prices.
Jim Hanson, of Grower Direct Marketing, said they're in their second week of harvesting, and they expect good production numbers.
“We're almost halfway through our harvest,” he said, “and we're going to have more volume than last year.” Though he admits that last year's production was limited by hail, something which they avoided this year.
“It's been a very good, strong start,” he said, “with production higher that the previous two years.” He added that their southern growing areas, located in Arvin, were able to avoid the hail which affected some of the state's stone fruit orchards.
Grower Direct's apricot program is brief, said Hanson, with the majority of picking taking place in May. The advantage of that schedule is that, though it's brief, it allows them to sell fruit before most of the state's supplies come online.
“Prices are pretty good right now,” he said, “with larger fruit in the low-30's range.” Fruit quality was reported as good with high color.
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