The 2018 California tomato harvest has begun, and a drone video has captured the agricultural tradition in a unique way.
The video shows the work underway at Rominger Brothers Farms in the Winters area. It was shot by Sacramento Valley Water’s John Hannon.
As of May 15, California’s tomato processors reported they have or will have contracts for 11.9 million tons of processing tomatoes for 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 0.8 percent decrease from the January intentions forecast and 14.3 percent above the final 2017 contracted production total. As for contracted acreage, the 238,000 acres is 0.8 percent below the January intentions forecast and 3.9 percent above last year’s final contracted acreage, the USDA reported.
Fresno County remained the top county in the state in contracted planted acreage for 2018 with 75,200 acres, according to the May report. Yolo, Kings, Merced and San Joaquin make up the remaining top five counties, accounting for 76 percent of the 2018 total contracted planted acreage for California.
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The USDA report said last winter was mostly dry, but spring rains eased concerns about water availability. Inconvenient timing of the late season rain caused some delays in planting, growers reported to the agency. Early reports on the crop were optimistic, with mild temperatures encouraging strong growth and low pest and disease pressure.