After a very dry June and July, and generally warmer than usual weather, we are now well into the season, and today is the last day of the "Bayram" or holiday after Ramadan. All factories except ourselves closed for the Bayram, for 1-3 days and will be starting up again now.
While the rain and hail storm of last week caused some panic, the actual damage to tomatoes was limited, and its main effect was to slow things down for a day, although some fields did suffer hail damage (and the hail was large).
Despite there being no major negative effect on the crop yield, it is looking increasing likely that the lack of field workers for the harvest is going to lead to some tomatoes being left in the field, unharvested and unprocessed. There are signs of mildew on some of the late crops, but spraying (which we are encouraging, of course) may reduce the potential damage there.
While brix of the tomato is low, adding to costs and reducing the paste output per tonne of raw material, the quality is perfectly normal with a good taste as well as colour and flavour.
Overall, we can expect that the crop size will now be reduced to about 1.8 m mt, but the forecast is difficult, as there are no actual "losses" today, and this number could move back up, as well as down. The crop size reduction combined with lower brix could lead to a 20% reduction in paste output.
For those who will be visiting us, we look forward to seeing you here, shortly.
Best wishes - Duncan Blake