Other Fruits Update:

August 2017

Prune Update

Following last year’s very short crop (51,000 tons), the USDA is forecasting a 2017 Prune crop of 105,000 tons. This size crop will be on par with the 2014 and 2015 Harvests.  Bearing Prune acreage for the industry, has declined from 86,000 in 2001 to 44,000 acres today. Carry in stocks are forecasted to be down about 25% from last year.


Since the USDA released the estimate in June, this year’s weather will likely result in a crop size slightly below the initial estimate. During the week of June 19th, the major prune growing region experienced temperatures of 105 degrees or higher for five consecutive days. This year’s high temperatures and sunny days has caused some damage to the crop.


They anticipate the harvest to begin this weekend in southern California, and a week later in northern California.  They hope to see the field price move down, but it is too early to say what the price will be for the crop. They don’t anticipate a dramatic move in pricing because the industry does not wish to experience a continuing decline in Prune acreage.


Here is a little reminder of what our packer can do.


Hill View Packing Company manufactures Pitted PrunesPrune Juice and Prune Concentrate. They do offer Organic products. The Pitted Prunes are sold in bulk in 25-30 lbs. boxes, retail sized: bags, bags in a box and paper canisters. Our Prune Juice is sold in cases of 16 and 32 ounce PET bottles as well as bulk truckloads. The Prune Concentrate is sold in bulk in 55 gallon steel drums. They also produce date and fig concentrate. At the request of their Prune product customers, they also bottle other fruit juices and pack other dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, dates, cherries). Product specifications are available on all these items.

June 2016

Prune Update

The 2016 NASS California Dried plum crop forecast was only 45,000 tons. This is why a lot of CA prune packers are withdrawn from the market for now. With this significant decrease in tonnage pricing is sure to continue to go up, and it is likely that there will be supply & demand issues. It seems like most of the problems with the crop happened in Northern California. Down south, where we get the majority of our prunes, everything is looking normal. The trouble is in the north, where they had golf ball size hail a few weeks ago and other adverse weather conditions.

Most will proceed with caution and continue we may likely see some packers withdrawn from the prune market for the time being. CA

June 2012

Tart Cherry Production 

May 2011

Courtesy of:  THE PACKER - Click Here 

Prune Update (click here)

February 2011

Courtesy of:  FOOD NEWS - Click Here 

November 2010



Sacramento, CA (November 12, 2010) The 2010 California dried plum crop is expected to deliver 125,000 (or less) natural condition tons a significant shortfall versus the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) June estimate of 150,000 tons. Although a formal crop report based on a California prune processor survey will be available by November 30, 2010, the purpose of this release is to provide early information to the industry and valued customers about the expected shortfall.

This 125,000 ton level represents a 17% decrease from the NASS estimate and a 25% decrease from the 2009 California crop reported by handlers of 166,114 tons.

Cooler than normal weather conditions during the summer months delayed harvest timing for virtually all crops by an average of two weeks. The weather negatively impacted the prune crop by reducing the total fruit count in orchards. The crop is reported to be of very good fruit quality with average fruit sizes showing variability between regions and individual growers.

April 2010

Pineapple Update (click here)

June 2005

Prune Update

Earlier this month, the California Agricultural Statistics Service announced a forecast of 105,000 tons of prunes would be harvested in California this year. That's 30% below the average production for the past five years, but more than double the size of the 2004 crop.

The small crop last year was blamed on a heat wave that dried out plum blossoms before they could be pollinated. The same conditions — a week in March with temperatures above 80 degrees and a dry wind — led to spotty bloom again this year in Northern California. The damage seems to be the greatest in Yuba and Sutter counties. Damage in the Valley was caused more by wet and cool conditions that impaired pollination. It is probably too soon to know how much his yields may have been reduced this year but overall Valley growers can expect below average yields.

The projected average yield places state production back in the disaster category of 35% below average production of 2.2 dry tons per acre. This will be another tuff year especially after last year's near all-time low production of 47,828 tons statewide, or less than one-third of a normal crop."

California Apricots

It looks like there won't be any yield records for apricots this year as an anticipated large harvest was hurt by springtime storms and cool weather. Now it appears that the California crop will be down about 15 percent from projections to become a more average crop.

Sugar development was late in coming this season because of the cooler temperatures in April and May and all varieties have matured more slowly than normal. Apricot farmers are reported to be saying that they are hopeful that strong prices that developed for early varieties will hold throughout the season. Growers may also benefit from a short crop of plums and cherries, which often increases demand for apricots.

Harvest is just now getting under way in the Patterson area, which is later than usual. It will continue for about a month. Rains slowed the harvest last week, but nothing significant.

The California Fresh Apricot Council says more California fruit has been channeled into the dry fruit market in recent years. In part that's due to poorer harvests in Turkey, which had cornered the U.S. market for dried apricots with cheaper operating costs. California fruit going into the dry market has helped fresh market prices some, and this year Turkey reportedly has a shorter crop than usual. That should keep prices up throughout the harvest.

August 2004

As the Prune industry begins the 2004 harvest it continues to become apparent that they are facing the smallest crop in recent history. The Prune Industry was originally prepared for a small crop, the equivalent of 70,000 tons of dried fruit. This is the estimate reported by CASS (California Agricultural Statistics Service) during the first week of June 2004. It now appears that the harvest will be approximately 40,000 tons, which is about 25% of a normal crop.

Currently the crop cost to the processor is double and in some case more than ten times higher than last year. Even with additional imported product to blend in with Domestic allocation and increased costs can be expected by the buyer.

The crop situation should return to normal within one or two years.

June 2004

The news is getting worse for Prune farmers who have lived through six years of worldwide oversupply, low prices, and returns below the cost of production.  The widespread crop disaster, due to hot, dry conditions, most feel will result in the shortest crop on record.

Crop losses are reported in all of the growing areas and it is believe that many growers will not harvest because of light or no-crop conditions.  In the South Sacramento Valley, is is estimated that as many as 60% of the farmers will not harvest because of the disaster.  A recent survey of growers and industry members put the total crop at 63,500 tons, the shortest crop on record.  The CASS survey estimates about 75,000 – 85,000 tons, about 45% lower than last years 175,000 tons.

April 2004

New crop Fruit Outlook overall appears to be fine.  We still have a way to go in the development stages, but currently there appears to be lots of Flowers on the trees.  We could be looking at a decent California Date Crop, possibly as much as 32 million pounds as compared to last years 20 million pound crop.  The reality is that the increased costs of goods are due to increased costs in doing business.  Minimum Wages, Workman’s Compensations, Liability and Medical Insurance are all up in the state of California as they are for most of us here locally.

December 2003

This was a very challenging year for almost all crops in California.  Weather played a huge part in damaging and limiting the Agricultural markets.  Apricots started late and were very short with very little large sizes being produced.  Peaches and nectarines were next and they got what they projected.  Angelino plums were also late but tonnage was completed nicely.  Costs are up across the board while suppliers struggle to maintain relatively flat, unchanged prices.