US (CA): Growers pick persimmons before cold settles in

With cold weather expected to hit California's Central Valley by Thanksgiving, persimmon growers are busy picking their remaining fruit so that it doesn't freeze. While this kind of mini-surge in harvesting might have affected prices earlier in the season, it's not likely to significantly depress prices at this point in the year.

“Persimmons will hold better on the tree than in cold storage,” said Casey Hollnagel of Vertical Foods. “So we let fruit sit in some fields until we're ready, and we'll pick steadily through October and November.” As temperatures fall, growers are harvesting the fruit they have left in the fields because if fruit is on the tree when frost hits, then the fruit will freeze and turn to mush when it thaws.

“Right now, anybody who hasn't finished picking is rushing to get their fruit out of the fields,” said Hollnagel. Volume has been steady, and market prices have reflected that. While increased harvesting activity might have had a bigger effect in September or October, most growers have been through the bulk of their picking, so prices will likely remain where they are. On November 24, prices for a carton of Fuyu 15s from the San Joaquin Valley were between $13.95 and $14.95, and prices for a carton of Hachiya 15s were between $12.95 and $14.95.

“A lot of growers have picked, packed and sold most of their fruit,” said Hollnagel. “This could put more product into the market, but we're already late into the season. I think the market will strengthen a little after Thanksgiving, but there won't be any spikes.”

For more information:
Casey Hollnagel
Vertical Foods LLC
+1 559 743 0100

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