Although the industry had started up 7-10 days before us using tomatoes from the Torbali area, we started up 3 days ago with tomatoes from our own fields in the Salihli area. First fruit was acceptable in terms of colour and better than usual in solids (brix), however we cannot forecast the whole crop based on 1% of the expected production!
We expect to build up production slowly, and it will not be until the 3rd week of August that we will reach our peak, as forecast earlier, and due to the very late plantings this year. As a corollary we expect and hope that the peak will continue until the 3rd week of September and actual production into October. The fruit is there and it now depends on the weather.
Looking at the fields in our (northern) area most are looking very healthy, and although we have had occasional rain - more than we would like - there is no apparent damage so far. As usual, one eye is on the weather forecast.
In this business predictions are always dangerous, but if there are no adverse weather events (and the weather is not "normal" with Istanbul flooded out yesterday and some areas looking like Venice) then we expect to complete our programme and with a good quality.
We expect that the tonnage coming to the industry will be around the 2 million mt mark, or less than 2013, unless yields are exceptional.
For those in production - best wishes for your season - Duncan Blake