US (CA): Heat pushes back start of pomegranate season

Though many growers in California were anticipating a quick start to the pomegranate season, hot, dry conditions have pushed back harvesting. Picking is now expected to begin next week.

“People were saying this season could be early, but right now it looks like it could be just on time or even a little delayed,” said David Anthony of Ruby Fresh Pomegranates. “We expect to start Monday, October 6, but the season remains delayed due to a severe drought and high heat.” Warm weather has been a roadblock because pomegranates require cool night temperatures to achieve the right colour. Pomegranates don't gain colour once they've been picked, so growers are hesitant to harvest their crop until the fruit achieves just the right colour. Dry conditions have also delayed picking because of the toll they've taken on trees.

“A tree goes into survival mode when it's stressed,” said Anthony. “The drought has been stressing the trees, so the combination of that and the heat has slowed down the ability of fruit to colour and gain size.” With no fruit out of California yet, demand is high in anticipation of supplies that will come later this month.

“There's a lot of demand right now,” explained Anthony. “So the market will be strong when the season begins, then them market will stabilize when there are good supplies during the second half of October.”

For more information:
David Anthony
Ruby Fresh Pomegranates
+1 559 933 0340

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