Mejhoul cultivation in the USA
Dates have been grown in the United States for over 200 years. Large plantings began about 125 years ago and the Mejhoul was imported successfully in 1927. The US Mejhoul industry began with a 23-ha planting in 1945, near Bard, CA, and has grown to several thousand ha today. Trees are planted in several types of soils, at spacings ranging from 7.5 to 9 m2. Irrigation is by flood or pressurized systems, and most fertilization is applied via the irrigation water. Mejhoul dates are pollinated and thinned, then bagged before harvest. Harvest begins in August and continues through October. Few pests are problematic on Mejhoul. Harvested dates are sorted for color, dried to consistent moisture, sorted again for quality, and then shipped fresh or frozen if needed. US Mejhoul dates are exported to Canada, Australia, Mexico, and other countries, while the US imports Mejhoul dates from Mexico, Israel, and other countries. Date consumption in the US is low but has increased by 50% since 2012 due to active marketing programs.
Wright, G.C. (2023). Mejhoul cultivation in the USA. Acta Hortic. 1371, 5-8
history, horticultural practices, production, marketing, exports