The 2010 California dried plum (prune) crop is forecast at 150,000 tons, down 10 percent from the 166,000 tons produced in 2009.

Total 2010 bearing acreage is estimated at 64,000.

The French prune variety accounts for 97 percent of all dried plum acreage grown in California.

Cooler weather and lighter fruit sets in 2010 contributed to the lower yield forecast. Growers did not thin as much and some skipped thinning altogether.

Pest pressures are more of a concern this year due to increased rain and cooler temperatures.

The production forecast is based on a survey of dried plum growers conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office. Responses were received from 203 growers representing 51 percent of the total bearing acreage.