April 22, 2016

California Table Grapes Come Out on Top

2015’s record-setting table grape production 

In spite of California’s lingering drought and shutoff of irrigation water in the Central Valley, 2015 delivered record highs for the table grape market. According to the California Table Grape Commission, table grapes set a new record crop value at $1.83 billion after shipping 110.5 million boxes across the world in the last year.[1]

Table Grapes Driving Demand

Consumer demand has been integral to table grapes’ record-setting year. As one of America’s top snack food, California is responsible for producing over 99% of the nation’s crop.  Although California table grapes surpassed the previous crop value set in 2014 of $1.76 billion, growers supplied a light crop compared with years past. Acreage totaled 918,000 acres in 2015, which is 10,000 acres less than the previous season.[2] As a result, the price of table grapes has increased, reflecting grapes’ high demand.

Choosing the K That Pays

Because 2016 is expected to have higher production rates like 2015, table grapes’ demand for potassium will be higher too. For optimal fruits, grapes require significant levels of potassium – for every 8 tons of grapes yielded, 104 lbs. of K2O is removed from the soil. When grapes receive adequate levels of K, their sugar content rises, weight improves and yields increase. However, if grapes don’t receive enough K, severe damage can occur. Potassium deficiency browns leaves, reduces vine vigor and crop yields, and often can result in defoliation.

For every 8 tons of grapes yielded, 104 lbs. of K2O is removed from the soil.

To avoid the burn of a K deficiency, growers should replenish grape vines with a K source such as a sulfate of potash (SOP) fertilizer like Protassium+®. Unlike a muriate of potash (MOP) fertilizer, Protassium+ has virtually no chloride so it helps reduce salt buildup and toxicity in the soil. In addition, Protassium+ efficiently supplies the potassium that is critical at bloom through veraison. The 17% sulfate sulfur in Protassium+ also adds to the overall health of the vine through preventing the onset of diseases and pests.

For more details about why Protassium+ is the right K source for your grapes crops, review grapes need for K or directly contact your regional representative here.