The Sonora Grape Growers Association (AALPUM) projects 21.5 million 18 lb. (8.2 kg) cartons to be packed and shipped between early May and mid-July, 2021.
AALPUM association president Marcos Camou, AALPUM general manager Juan Laborin and Fresh Produce Association of the Americas grape division chairman John Pandol recently presented the crop estimate via Zoom. This estimate is 2% less than the 2020 harvest and 11% less than the 2019 crop.
The largest volume is white seedless varieties at 44%, followed by red seedless varieties at 43%, then black seedless varieties at 7% and then ‘other’ 6%, which includes Red Globes and specialty varieties like Cotton Candy. Sonora is the only growing area supplying North America that produces a majority of green seedless. Between 3 and 5% of the grape crop is certified organic.
The harvest season is subdivided into four section
Preseason 10% everything prior to May 15 including other early areas.
Early Season 16% May 16-30 .
Peak Season 53% May 31 – June 20
Late Season 21% post June 21 into July
Shipping will continue from Nogales and other forward distribution points will continue until mid-July.
The estimate had a new look that reflects changes in the industry. Not long ago 80% of the volume was three varieties. Today 40% is over a two dozen newer proprietary varieties. “To give a rundown of individual varieties, each with beginning and end of harvest date for each growing area is no longer a useful description of the crop” , said FPAA grape division chairman John Pandol. “The purpose of giving an estimate is so our supply chain partners; operational service providers, government agencies and commercial partners can prepare”