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Dates are the delicious fruit grown from the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).Date palms are native to the Persian Gulf area of the Middle East. Department of Agriculture created a branch whose objective was to find new crops that could be economically important and introduce them to farmers, businessmen, and consumers in the United States.In the United States, climbing is still a method used to perform these practices and is done by brave workers affectionately called palmeros; however, mechanical lifts are now also used in many orchards (Chao & Krueger, 2007) (Morehouse, 2013). Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects, Nutrition Journal. Date palms are dioecious, meaning there are separate female and male trees. There are hundreds of date palm cultivars available, however, the two most widely grown in the United States are the “Deglet Noor” and the “Medjool” (Morton, 1987). This was the fate of the date palm (Pieters, 1905) (Nelson et al, 2014).In the United States, Southern California produces the largest amounts of dates, followed by Arizona.To prolong shelf life, many dates are left on the palm until completely ripe.Thus they are slightly dry before being harvested; these dates are still considered fresh (Watson, 2015).
In 2017, California produced 35,000 tons of dates from 9,900 acres.
Yield per acre was 3.82 tons, priced at ,840 per ton. Estimating Water Needs of Landscape Palms in Mediterranean Climates, 19(4): 700-704.
The total value of the crop was .8 million (“Noncitrus Fruits” NASS, 2018). Production of Top 5 Producers, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Statistics Division (FAOSTAT), 2016.
Like many plants, date palms can live through periods of drought, however, for commercial production, they require approximately 64 to 83 inches of water per year for appropriate yields (Pittenger, et al, 2009).
Date palms can economically produce fruit up to 40 to 50 years.