About 95 percent of the nation’s processed tomatoes come from California.
Last year, about 12 million tons were produced. Some farmers this year were skeptical they could grow the 14 million tons contracted for by the state’s processors. But they hit that mark.
“It’s not really unexpected. We’re usually pretty close to our tonnage number," says Mike Montna with the California Tomato Growers Association.
"From the grower perspective, they allocated the water that they did have to tomatoes. Less rice, less cotton, less corn. They were forced to make choices of which crop am I going to grow,” says Montna.
Montna says growers were able to secure a higher contract price last year for processing tomatoes, so it made better economic sense.
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