2015 California processing tomato contracted production is forecast at 14.5 million tons, 4 percent higher than last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Average processing tomato yields are about 49.5 tons per acre. The total acreage for harvested tomatoes is 293,000 acres, a 3-percent increase over last year.
California tomato growers produce more than 90 percent of the nation's processed tomatoes and nearly half of the world's total processed tomato tonnage, according to the California Tomato Growers Association.
NASS says the California processing tomato harvest started in early July in the southern growing areas and is expected to run through mid-October.
The 2015 crop year has included low disease and pest pressures and cooperative weather. The primary issue affecting yield has been water availability, NASS reports.
The ongoing, extreme drought in California has forced growers to fallow land and cut back on the acreage for many crops. However, the acreage devoted to processing tomatoes has increased from last year.
Shipping reports published by the Processing Tomato Advisory Board show shipments through August 22, 2015 are running 8 percent above the same time last year.
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