Heavy rains in mid-October in California didn’t have much of an effect on tomato markets, which some growers said could get a boost the first week of November.

Just about an inch of rain fell in the Oxnard area, and it was spread out over two days, said David Cook, sales manager of Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard.

“It was a light, misty, tropical-style rain, and it really didn’t have that much of an effect,” he said.

Deardorff also benefited from having its vine-ripes up off the ground where water on the ground couldn’t reach them, Cook said. San Joaquin Valley growers of ground greens, however, weren’t as lucky, Cook said. Those tomatoes are much more susceptible to mold and mildew, he said.

Jeff Dolan, field operations manager for DiMare Newman, Newman, Calif., said the rain kept crews out of fields for three or four days, not enough to disrupt supplies.

“So far, surprisingly, everything’s looking pretty good,” he said. “We were able to get back into fields pretty early.”

The Northern area of Baja California where Expo Fresh LLC, San Diego, was shipping from when the rains came didn’t get any, said Bob Schachtel, sales manager.

“It was all south of Vizcaino,” he said.

Deardorff will ship vine-ripes from Oxnard through Thanksgiving, Cook predicted. He reported good quality, adequate volumes but less-than-desirable markets.

DiMare Newman will likely ship California product into the first week of November, Dolan said.

On Oct. 27, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $10.95-13.95 for 25-pound cartons of extra large loose mature-greens from California, comparable to last year at the same time.

A continuous flow of product into the market keeps prices from strengthening, Cook said.

“Demand is just fair,” he said. “It seems like there are adequate supplies all the time.”

And the rain-related losses weren’t enough to raise prices significantly, Cook said.

“There was a little bump in the market, but it didn’t last long,” he said.

Dolan was more optimistic.

“Everything’s clicking along pretty good,” he said.

Schachtel said sluggish markets could expect a boost soon, possibly in the first week of November.

“Markets are sliding a little bit, but I believe they’ll turn around,” he said. “There’s not as much product out there as people think.”

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