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Date palm status and perspective in the United States

Krueger, Robert R.
Date palm genetic resources and utilization 2015 Ch.14 pp. 447-485
Phoenix dactylifera, crop production, cultivars, germplasm, industry, research, Arizona, California
The date industry in the United States is small in comparison with that of many other date-producing countries. The United States has no indigenous date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) germplasm, so the industry developed using imported cultivars in the early years of the twentieth century. Due to its specific climatic requirements, date production in the United States is confined to the low-elevation desert areas in California and Arizona. Date production has centered in the Coachella Valley of Riverside County, California, but has recently expanded into the Bard Valley of Imperial County, California, and Yuma County, California. The dominant cultivar is Deglet Noor but recent plantings are primarily Medjool, and this is becoming the dominant economic cultivar. The US industry is highly mechanized compared to the date industry in most other countries. The primary use of dates produced in the United States is for fresh consumption, but small amounts of pro- cessed products are also produced. Production practices, handling, and research activities are also discussed.