The following is the latest California Vegetable Review report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
Spring onion intentions
U.S. growers intend to plant 28,000 acres of spring onions for 2010, down 7 percent from 2009.
California onion growers began planting in October and continued through mid-December. Onion fields have shown good growth in many areas following recent rains. However, water shortages remain a concern for some growers.
In Georgia, onion planting was on schedule despite frequent rainfall in many areas. No disease problems have been reported. In Texas, spring onion plantings have declined. Crop yields and quality are very good.
Winter fresh market vegetable acreage
• Broccoli: California harvested area is forecast at 25,500 acres, down 2 percent from 2009. The quality of the broccoli crop is reported to be in overall good condition. Some growers reported yellowing, knuckling, and pale green appearance.
• Carrots: U.S. winter harvested area is forecast at 16,600 acres, up 2 percent from last year. In California, cool weather towards the end of the season reduced yields in the Bakersfield area. In Texas, the carrot crop is progressing well.
• Cauliflower: California harvested area is forecast at 8,200 acres, down 4 percent from last year. Harvest was ahead of schedule. Good quality is reported.
• Celery: The winter celery crop for harvest in California is forecast at 7,100 acres, down 1 percent from last year. The crop is reported in good condition.
• Head lettuce: The U.S. area for harvest is forecast at 51,000 acres, up 9 percent from last year. Harvest in Arizona began in mid-November. Harvest of California’s iceberg lettuce crop began around the third week of November.
2009 vegetable crop summary
California fresh market and dual utilization vegetable crop production (excluding mushrooms) was 10.9 million tons, the same as the previous year. California continues to be the leading fresh market state accounting for 44 percent of the harvested area, 49 percent of production, and 52 percent of the U.S. value.
Crops with value increases included artichokes, snap beans, broccoli, processing carrots, cauliflower, sweet corn, garlic, head, leaf, and romaine lettuce, honeydew melons, agaricus mushrooms, summer storage onions, chile peppers, pumpkins, and fresh spinach.
Crops with value decrease included asparagus, cabbage, fresh carrots, celery, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, spring and summer non-storage onions, bell peppers, processing spinach, squash, and tomatoes.
California processing tomatoes
California's processing tomato production in 2009 was 13.3 million pay tons, 13 percent above the 2008 production.
Harvested acreage was 308,000 acres, 10 percent above a year earlier. The yield was 43.23 tons per acre, up 2 percent from 2008.