The Westside District in the Central San Joaquin Valley has just started shipments of cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew following a growing season marked by below normal temperatures and more than average rainfall.
Westside melon shippers are expected to load 20 million cartons this season, which is considered a normal volume.
Pacific Trellis of Los Angeles is the parent company of Dulcinea Farms harvesting its Tuscan-style cantaloupes, mini seedless watermelons and regular sized seedless watermelons. Shipments should continue into late September and possibly October.
Pacific Trellis expect more volume with both conventional and organic mini seedless watermelon, although volume will be off a little its Tuscan-style cantaloupe and yellow-flesh watermelon.
While some San Joaquin Valley melon shippers are a week to 10 days later this season due to weather, Turlock Fruit Co. Inc. of Turlock, CA had warmer than usual temperature in March and April. It launched its season the start of July with honeydews, orangedews, cantaloupes and varietal melons.
Acreage and supply for Turlock Fruit will be similar to last year for all fruit except for the orangedew, a honeydew with orange flesh, which has more acreage.
Legend Produce of Dos Palos, CA. has just started shipments of melons and should continue until October 10th when it shifts its harvest to Yuma, AZ.
Between the two regions, the company expects ship in excess of 7 million cartons this year, consistent with prior years.
Westside Produce of Firebaugh, CA has been shipping cantaloupe about two week and should continue until October. The company expects to ship around 2 million to 2.2 million boxes of melons from nearly 2,500 acres.
Cantaloupes account for about two-thirds of the melon shipments for Del Mar Farms of Patterson, CA, which also has honeydews and watermelons
Organic melons loadings start in mid-July and finish up in early October, while conventional melons should be available through October or possibly November.