In California, overall citrus crops down from ‘05

The 2006-07 California orange crop is forecast at 92 million cartons, 20 percent below last season.

California’s Navel orange forecast is 66 million cartons, down 27 percent from the previous season. The Navel orange harvest was expected to start late this year, creating a gap between the Valencia and Navel seasons. This gap should drive up consumer demand.

The 2006-07 Navel crop was also expected to be light. Many orchards were frost damaged last spring, and growers were reporting light sets and small sizes.

California’s Valencia orange forecast is 26 million cartons, 8 percent above last season. The Valencia crop has developed normally thus far, with no major problems reported. The 2006-07 fruit set appeared to be heavier than the previous season. Acreage pullouts continued to increase due to market pressures.

The 2006-07 grapefruit production in California is forecast at 11.4 million cartons (190,950 tons), 5 percent below last season’s final utilization. The 2006-07 season continued to develop normally as picking of the 2005-06 crop winds down. Quality was expected to be good this season, with a lighter set resulting in larger sizes.

The 2006-07 California lemon production is forecast at 39.4 million cartons (748,600 tons), down 6 percent from the 2005-06 season. Harvest began in the desert region, and picking volumes were low.

Growers were also reporting a lighter crop size as compared to the 2005-2006 season.

California’s 2006-07 tangerine forecast is 7.60 million cartons (142,500 tons), 6 percent higher than last season’s crop.

California has been working to meet the increasing worldwide demand for tangerines. Planted acreage has been on the increase, and this season’s bearing acreage is estimated at 16,000 acres. Initial yield reports were lower from the previous season.

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