With the season likely wrapping up this week, California pomegranates hauled in a lower crop due to insufficient rain and disease. 

“The crop was down about 25-30 percent because a lack of rain triggered lower yields. All season it was off considerably,” says Claude Lloyd of Dinuba, CA-based King Fresh Produce LLC. “Production people thought it was mainly due to the drought. When we finally did get rainfall, it came at harvest time which caused the poms to crack and split. We encountered a little more Black Heart, a condition defect caused by fungus. And sizes were smaller-- off by an average of one and one half sizes and those were graded out more due to poor outside color. The inside was okay but lack of red color on the outer skin is a tough sell.”

King Fresh sells four types of pomegranates, but mostly Wonderfuls which account for about three quarters of King Fresh’s 400 acres of the fleshy fruit. 

Prices rose though
In turn, the smaller supply helped boost prices by a few dollars on pomegranates this season. And demand hailed from the East and West coast of the United States and the same regions in Canada. “And then we get some call for exports to Taiwan, Mexico and Korea, which we’ve done for several years,” Lloyd says. “Though we’ve sent more to export markets in other years because there was a better volume of quality fruit.” 

For more information:
Claude Lloyd 
King Fresh Produce LLC 
Tel: +1 559-596-2040