Vicky BoydWorkers rake grapes on a continuous paper tray to ensure a single layer of fruit and proper drying.The California raisin crop is expected to rebound this year by about 25% from last year’s crop of 1.9 million tons and should be the largest since 2008.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its crop estimate Aug. 12, pegging the 2013 California raisin harvest at 2.4 million tons.
The increase is based in large part on a record per-acre yield and significantly more bunches per vine.
The state has about 200,000 acres of raisin-type grapes, and each vine averaged 47.7 bunches this season compared wtih 29.1 last year, according to a USDA survey of 328 vineyards conducted in July.
Weather conditions this year also have been conducive for crop development, and harvest is expected to begin a few days ahead of normal, according to the report.