FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Despite drought and water shortages across the San Joaquin Valley, the state's tomato crop will be bigger this year than last.
According to a report released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmers will harvest 13.5 million tons of tomatoes used for processed foods, up 15 percent over 2008. The yield should average 43.97 tons per acre, 4 percent better than last year.
Farmers and producers of ketchup and sauces had feared the drought and water delivery cutbacks to the prime tomato-growing regions on the valley's west side would cut production and drive up prices. Instead farmers in other areas picked up the slack.
California grows most of the nation's processing tomatoes.
The national forecast is for 14.1 million tons.