California Crop Production report

The USDA-NASS California Field Office released this crop production forecast that reflects conditions as of Jan 1. The latest survey, conducted during the last week of December 2009 and the first week of January 2010, included the following commodities:

• Cotton

California American Pima production is estimated at 350,000 bales, up 6 percent from the Dec. 1 forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated at 116,000 acres. The resulting yield is 1,448 pounds per acre.

California upland production is estimated at 250,000 bales, unchanged from the Dec. 1 forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated at 70,000 acres. The yield calculates to 1,714 pounds per acre. As of Jan. 1, the cotton harvest was finished. Harvested fields were shredded and disked.

• Oranges

The 2009-2010 California Navel orange forecast is 80 million cartons, unchanged from the October forecast and up 16 percent from last season's crop. The harvest continued to progress well with good sizing and quality. Freezing temperatures in December do not appear to have significantly impacted the crop.

The 2008-2009 Valencia orange forecast is 30 million cartons, unchanged from the October forecast, but up 7 percent from last season’s crop.

• Lemons

The 2009-2010 California lemon forecast is 40 million cartons, 9 percent below last season’s final production and unchanged from the October forecast. The 2009-10 lemon harvest continued in the desert region and began in the Central Valley.

Freezing temperatures in December appear to have affected the lemon crop though the full impact is still unknown. Despite the freezes, supplies and quality have been good.

• Tangerines

The 2009-2010 California tangerine forecast including mandarins and tangelos is 16.4 million cartons. Production is 22 percent above last season’s crop and up 17 percent from the October forecast. Sweeties from Central California became available in early November.

Clementine harvest started in mid-November. The Satsuma and Fairchild harvest continued with good quality and color. Organic Satsumas became available in mid-December. Also harvested in December were the Orlando, Minneola, Cara Cara, and Moro (Blood) varieties.

• Grapefruit

The 2009-2010 California grapefruit forecast is 8.4 million cartons, 11 percent below the October forecast and down 25 percent from last season’s crop.

The Rio Red harvest began in the desert region of California in early November. Interior and exterior color is excellent. Only limited volume is being moved in California now since much of the packing takes place in Texas and Florida this time of year.

Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. The next production forecast will be issued Feb. 9, 2010.

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