The California crop is essentially comprised now of three primary varieties, which together account for more than 90% of the tonnage: Chandler, Tulare, and Howard. Here is our early assessment of the quality we are seeing:
Tulare: Average to Good. We had feared sunburn damage from the hot last half of August and a second heat wave in the first week of September, but most of what we received was of average to good quality.
Howard: This is a once-every-ten-years kind of quality year for Howards—very light for this variety. We believe the overall quality will be just a notch below Chandlers, which is outstanding.
Chandler: It’s still early, but it appears there could be a two-tier quality standard this year for the kingpin variety. We’ve received several lots that are only about 80-85% Light and other lots that are 95-100% Light. The higher quality material will likely go into our inshell pack since we can sort out the off-color material on the shelling side with our electronic sorting equipment.