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HMC News – June 2024

The hot days tend to slow the rate of tree fruit maturity, leading to a delayed or extended harvest on varieties we are currently picking, or will pick within the next week. We are adding nutrient applications to our plum orchards to help protect them from sunburn and heat stress. Grapes are growing rapidly and are vulnerable to sunburn at this stage of maturity. We are doing our best to grow the canopy as much as possible for protection for the berries. So far, this year has been excellent for surface water deliveries. We had a better than average winter,and…

HMC News – May 2024

Other than a few big spring storms, the weather has been ideal for tree fruit maturation. We started harvest with the yellow and white peaches, yellow and white nectarines and organics. Plum harvest began at the end of May. The early season plums are a delicious nod to what is to come, building excitement for our proprietary Plumsicle. We are already taking prebookings for the sweetest part of summer, so be sure to contact your HMC Farms representative so you don’t miss out on Plumsicle, our favorite fruit of the season. We are in the process of thinning our late…

HMC News – April 2024

Widespread hail hit many of our growing regions over the month. There was some damage from the storms, but we remain optimistic. Most of the hail appeared to be “slushy”. Slushy hail does not penetrate the skin of the fruit as deeply or as firm or icy hail, so the damage (if any) is less substantial. We are also hopeful because a percentage of the most vulnerable varieties were covered with hail netting, a practice we will rely on more in future seasons (see images for reference). With hail damage, the overall volume loss is not always significant, but the…

HMC News – March 2024

2024 We know there are still only flowers on the trees, but it is never too early to get excited about Plumsicles™. This year we have something exciting to share… our late season Plumsicles are coming into production! This will extend our season further into the summer months. Now you can enjoy everyone’s favorite fruit from mid June –late August. The 2024 offshore grape season continues to fall short of pre-season expectations with tight supplies on both reds and greens. With the marketing order quickly approaching in mid-April, we expect to see arrivals crest and retreat in a short time…

HMC News – October 2022

California table grapes are still in full swing, but the import season is swiftly approaching. Shipping flow and port delays have been issues in the past. While we don’t anticipate large volumes of Peruvian grapes to arrive until mid to late December, more Peruvian grapes are headed to the US this year. Some companies have already begun shipments, which is historically earlier than normal. In regards to grape volume, this is the first year Peru is set to eclipse Chile in total table grape production. For California, the California Table Grape Commission has dropped their estimate from 97 million total…

Road and telephone pole in front of an orchard of trees, lightning bold in the background
HMC News – August 2022

A summer storm made its way to the Central Valley this month. An estimated 1/4″ of rain touched down on our farms, which is unprecedented at this time of year. Some stone showed hardly any impact, while other blocks were more significantly impacted. It appears that the rain impacted all commodities to some degree and the varieties that were just ready to be harvested and in the middle of harvest were most severely affected. Table grape harvest remains ongoing. We’re seeing an impressive crop of green seedless varietals coming out of our vineyards this year. All commodities appear to be…

Row of grapevines with clusters of grapes turning from green to red
HMC News – June 2022

We are tipping and thinning clusters in our table grape vineyards. During this process, each grape cluster is inspected and clipped to reduce the density of berries and obtain a manageable overall bunch size. At this point, we are getting into a nice harvest groove. Peach, plum, and nectarine harvest is moving right along in our orchards, with flavor continuing to impress across our early season varieties.  Plumsicle™ harvest has begun! As expected, the crop is sweet and flavorful. Plumsicle is available only in limited supplies this year, but we continue to add more acreage to our Plumsicle orchards each…

Tree branch with leaves and small peaches
HMC News – April 2022

April’s weather has been a rollercoaster, bouncing around 20 degrees up and down over a few days more than once. Thankfully, the forecast ahead shows weather conducive to stone fruit growth. We are thinning stone fruit in our stone fruit orchards. Thinning removes excess, under-sized, or damaged juvenile fruit from our trees. This ensures that nutrients are directed to fewer pieces of fruit, resulting in better size and flavor. It also protects the tree from damage due to too much weight on the limbs. Hail damage is prevalent across the industry in scattered pockets. We’ve discovered hail damaged stone fruit…

Pink blossoms on a tree in an orchard
HMC News – February 2022

After a winter with sufficient chill hours, some of our earliest stone fruit varieties have started to wake up from their winter hibernation as they push the first blooms of the 2022 season. These first flowers bring anticipation for the upcoming season along with the anxiety of knowing that unfavorable weather conditions can now have deleterious effects on the 2022 crop. Blossoms become commonplace around the valley as hundreds of different stone fruit varieties will be in different stages of bloom in late February and early March. We are in the process of grafting trees in some of our stone…

HMC News – December 2021

We’re almost completely done pruning in our plum orchards, and we are busy pruning in our peach and nectarine orchards. Pruning is an important process of the annual stone fruit cycle as we prepare the trees for winter. By removing the older wood from the trees, we not only make way for new fruiting wood for the 2022 harvest season, but we also keep the trees shaped properly. In our high density stone fruit orchards, crews are using electric pruning shears in order to reach the upper parts of trees without ladders. These electric shears improve efficiency while still allowing…