The 2010 California kiwifruit crop is expected to produce an abundance of large, high-quality fruit. 

"Weather conditions this year have been excellent to produce a really nice sized crop of kiwifruit,” said Doug Phillips, a Visalia-based kiwifruit grower, who noted his early harvest is producing large size fruit and good volume. 

“The past couple years we have not had ideal growing conditions, but this year’s crop could be one of the best on record.”

The California Kiwifruit Commission is expecting this year’s crop at 7.5 to 8 million trays, which would exceed last year’s crop by more than one million trays. The real story may be this year’s high fruit quality.

“The California kiwifruit industry is expecting good volume and quality with sizes running heavy to 33 and larger,” said Chris Zanobini, president, California Kiwifruit Commission.  “When we have a combination of both large size and good volume, it is great news for California kiwifruit farmers and for consumers.”

The California kiwifruit harvest has begun and is expected to be in full swing by the week of Oct. 12.

Zanobini says marketing prospects are also looking up for California kiwifruit. The California Kiwifruit Commission was awarded a $125,000 grant through the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The grant will be used to evaluate how to grow the kiwifruit category and increase profitability by repositioning kiwifruit and pricing it by the pound. 

Contact the California Kiwifruit Commission at (916) 441-0678 or visit www.kiwifruit.org