Prune Crops a Bust

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Grower Joe Turkovich in Winters grows prunes on 100 acres … and as early as March, he knew this year would be a bust. Warm, windy weather at just the wrong time led to a crop that’s just a quarter of last year’s production … and the worst prune harvest in California since the First World War. In agriculture, a low yield sometimes means high prices … but demand for prunes has been shriveling. The Prune Bargaining Association has negotiated prices no higher than $1,650 a ton … much less than the $2,300 figure that growers need to break even. California produces 70% of the world’s prunes … they’re grown locally from Winters north into Sutter and Yuba Counties.