Cool weather was delaying the start of California’s San Joaquin Valley tomato deal, but growers expected good quality and normal yields.

The DiMare Co., Newman, Calif., expects to ship from California’s Coachella Valley into the week of June 6, said Jeff Dolan, the company’s field operations manager.

Good quality and demand have marked the deal thus far, Dolan said June 1.

“Once we got past that big cold spell (in late winter), everything’s been smooth as silk,” he said. “We’ve had a good run so far, good quality.”

On June 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $15.95-17.95 for 25-pound cartons of 5x6 loose mature greens from Florida, up from $7.95 last year at the same time.

Twenty-five pound cartons of large Florida romas were $7.95-8.95, down from $8.95-9.95 last year.

In the week ending May 29, 23 million pounds of U.S. tomatoes were shipped, down from 39 million pounds in the same week the year before.

Season-to-date shipments of U.S. tomatoes, however, were up. About 1 billion pounds had shipped through May 28, up from 692 million at the same time in 2010.

After Coachella winds down, DiMare will begin sourcing from the southern San Joaquin Valley, Dolan said.

Quality and yields also are expected to be good out of the valley, he said.

This year DiMare’s production of new virus-resistant varieties will be up, Dolan said.

“We’ve been working with them for a couple of years, and as we’ve gained confidence in them, acreage has increased,” he said.

After its southern San Joaquin deal wraps up, DiMare will move production north to the Firebaugh, Newman and Los Banos growing regions, Dolan said.

Red Rooster Sales, Firebaugh, Calif., expects its San Joaquin Valley deal to begin about 10 days late, most likely the week of June 13, said sales manager Jack Corrigan.

Despite the late start, the cool growing weather in the valley won’t likely affect the crop adversely, Corrigan said.

“The crop looks good,” he said. “There seems to be an ample supply on the vines.”

Size also wouldn’t likely be affected, though Corrigan said June 1 it was too soon to tell.

Red Rooster’s acreage is similar to last season, with a similar mix of rounds and romas, he said.