California's raisin growers are proposing a sliding scale for this year's crop that could pay growers up to $2,000 a ton — potentially a new record.

The proposal from the Fresno-based Raisin Bargaining Association features a sliding scale based on how many raisins are delivered to packers. For example, if total deliveries are more than 350,001 tons, the price to growers will be $1,700 a ton. But if deliveries are less than 300,000 tons, the price will be $2,000.

The central San Joaquin Valley is the center of the nation's raisin industry.

Glen Goto, the association's chief executive officer, said the new approach to pricing is an attempt by the growers to deal with uncertainty over the size of this year's crop.

Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated the crop will be 25 percent larger than the previous year, many in the raisin industry are forecasting a crop that may be only 10 percent to 15 percent larger.

Last year, growers produced 311,000 tons of natural seedless raisins.

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