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Harvest Update, Spring 2013

President's Message

Thursday, May 02nd 2013

CFFA President,

Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.

CGTFL President, Barry Bedwell

Spring in the Central Valley of California once again has seemingly come and gone in an accelerated manner. We have come off the first quarter of the year with very little rainfall after a promising start in November and December. We are now moving in the second year of materially below average rainfall amounts with possibilities of hearing the dreaded “D” word on a consistent basis.

Temperatures have been above average, pushing the maturity of both tree fruit and table grapes to earlier dates, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. We are now harvesting stone fruit in Kern through Fresno counties and grapes will begin in Coachella next week. Most experts are predicting a crop size for peaches, plums and nectarines similar to last year while the volume of table grapes are expected to show an increase of 6 to 8%. Growers and shippers are optimistic that 2013 will produce a quality crop that can be marketed at levels close to 2012.

Another area that is heating up is the issue of immigration reform. In the last month, the United States Senate introduced S. 744, “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act”. This bill contains detail related to the negotiated agreement between the Agricultural Workforce Coalition, of which the League is a member, and farm labor advocate groups for a new visa program to replace the unworkable H2A program as well as a formula to allow those ag workers currently in the United States illegally to follow a pathway to legal residency and eventually citizenship.

This agreement, while not perfect, must serve as a blueprint for discussions in the House of Representatives as they move forward on immigration reform. To do otherwise will only embolden those whose real purpose is to defeat such reform. The League and its members will continue to push our elected representatives to follow the language in S. 744 as much as possible and to produce a bill that will meet the needs of agriculture and its employees.  

Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon.