California’s 2006 prune (dried plum) acreage is estimated at 72,500 acres, down 3 percent from 2005. Of the total acres, 65,000 were bearing and 7,500 were non-bearing. French prunes remained the dominant variety in California, accounting for 97 percent of the state’s reported acreage.

Sutter County remained the leader for prune acreage in California, with more than twice the bearing acreage of any other county. Sutter accounts for 29 percent of California’s reported prune acreage. Butte, Yuba, and Tehama counties were number two, three, and four, respectively, for prune acreage. These four counties combined account for 68 percent of the State’s reported prune acreage.

The California Field Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts an acreage survey of 900 California prune growers. The purpose of this survey is to provide annual prune acreage with information on new plantings and removals. It is a continuation of a long series of industry-funded prune acreage surveys

The surey also reflects tree removals from more than 4,000 acres during the past 12 months. Of this number, some acreage was harvested in 2006 prior to being pulled out, and that acreage has already been removed from the detailed data.