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US (CA): Normal kiwi crop expected

California's kiwi harvest is in its early stages, and early projections are for a crop that's lighter than last year's.

“Volume is projected to be down 15 to 20 percent from last year,” said Nick Matteis, an employee of the California kiwifruit industry. “Early, conservative estimates put this year's production at about 6.8 to 7 million trays, depending on the pack-out.” He noted, however, that although this year's volume will likely be less than last season's, last year's numbers were exceptionally high.

“Last year was the biggest year we've had since the early 90's,” he said. “We finished with 9.6 million trays last year, so this year we'll have a more normal crop.”

The season began on time with virtually all districts expected to start harvesting by next week, and the season is expected to continue through November. That's in contrast to last year's harvest which started a little late, and the normal timing this year will likely mean a uniform supply.

“It's still early in the packing season, but reports are of good sizes and clean fruit,” said Matteis. “We're off to a really good start.”

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