Mexico's tomato production to rise 16% in 2011/12
In a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report, the USDA said while the Mexican Government had not released any official forecasts, factors such as good weather, attractive international market prices and a favorable exchange rate would encourage production.
The forecast comes after a difficult 2010/11 year, when frosts in February affected blossoming and younger plant growth in the state of Sinaloa.
"Open field tomatoes in northern Sinaloa were lost almost entirely and the tomato crop in the central area of Sinaloa experienced partial damage. Horticultural shade house producers had varying degrees of losses, but about 40 percent of tomato production was damaged," the report said.
"Sources report that, overal, 40 percent of total production in Sinaloa was lost. The spring tomato crop from Baja California and other states is expected to be normal."
The story highlighted a switch in Mexico's planting techniques with a fall in total tomato planting areas, with many producers moving from open fields to greenhouses to increase yields.
"Open-field tomato production area has shown a tendency to decrease due to pest problems, high costs of production, swings in both international prices and exchange rates, and limited water availability. The decrease in open field area is more evident in states like Sinaloa, Baja California and Jalisco."