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US (CA): Warm weather affects persimmons

Unseasonably warm weather in California's San Joaquin Valley has affected coloring of persimmons. Although harvesting is not expected to be significantly delayed, growers are looking forward to cooler weather.

“It's been hot here in Central Calfornia,” said Jeff Simonian of the Simonian Fruit Company in Fowler. “It might hold back picking, and though it's hard to say, it could hold it back maybe a week.” What's more clear is that higher temperatures have affected the rate at which fruit has been coloring.

“The heat has delayed coloring,” said Jim Stewart, sales manager for Wespak Sales in Dinuba. “Right now, the fruit is yellow and turning orange. We can elect to pick them at different times, so we just wait until they're the color that satisfies our customers.” Despite the warm weather, Stewart expects picking to begin at the end of next week, which should coincide with temperatures more in line with fall.

“We're expecting unseasonably warm temperatures until next week,” he said. “But then it should cool down, and the cooler nights will speed up coloring.”

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