Slocomb Tomatoes

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

The sporadic weather activity has many farmers concerned. With tomato harvesting season approaching, the storms may have had an affect on the crop.

Give or take, it could be three weeks before tomatoes are ready for picking.

Although the crop looks better than it has in the past two years, just ask tomato farmer Gerald Aplin who says back in 2004 their Aplin farms tomatoes were wiped out after an unexpected hail storm hit. Back in 2005, when cold weather delayed the harvest.
"If you get a lot cool weather, it could delay the maturity of the crop," said Aplin.

And with no diseases and the weather not affecting the crop at all, farmers say it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good tomato season.

"Right now the tomato crop is running what I call a normal year. That means it looks like they’re coming in right on time."

And on time could be exactly what the town of Slocomb, which is known for its tomato farms, needs. This year's annual Tomato Festival will be held on June 17.

"Actually brings in additional revenue to the city as well as promoting the farmers in the city."

There are about 25 to 30,000 acres of tomato farmland across the state of Alabama. To begin irrigating and harvesting the crop it may cost between $1,800 and $2,300 per acre.

Tomatoes should start turning pink at the end of May. Towards the middle of June they'll be ripe.


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