California wheat crop forecast

The 2008 California winter wheat production forecast is 672,000, 17 percent above last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 320,000, resulting in a yield of 2.10 tons per acre.

The 2008 Durum wheat production forecast is 465,000 tons, up 118 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 155,000, with a yield of 3 tons per acre.

The wheat growing season in California has been very dry. Some of the dryland wheat has been harvested as hay or just lost for lack of water. However, warm weather has encouraged good growth and strong development of the irrigated crop. Disease pressure has been low this year, due in large part to the dry weather conditions. Just a few incidences of stripe rust have been reported. Durum wheat is progressing normally this season, with no quality or disease issues reported. Growers are hoping to see yields at levels equal to or better than normal. Harvest has begun in the Imperial Valley and should start in other areas within two weeks.

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