Sweeping walnuts in Kings County Calif

Kings County walnut grower Doug Verboon sweeps walnuts after a second shake on his half-century old Serr variety near Hanford.

Several California crops harvest ahead of schedule

Almonds may be short of record harvest prediction Peach harvest early in Sacramento Valley Walnut crop projected to be biggest-ever    

Almonds were not the only crop ahead of harvest schedule in California, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Early indications on the almond crop by industry insiders suggest the crop will not shake out to the 2.1 billion pound estimate issued by NASS earlier this summer. NASS will issue its next almond update in Jan. 2015.

NASS reports 860,000 bearing acres of almonds in California. This is up 20,000 acres from the previous year’s crop.

Issues with hull rot and spider mites in scattered almond orchards were reported. Walnut growers were spraying against mites in some Merced County orchards.

Pistachio harvest was getting under way in August as well, with scattered reports of alternaria.

Clingstone peach harvest was also ahead of schedule in the California counties of Sutter and Yuba (Sacramento Valley).

Bartlett, Bosc, and Asian pear harvests were ongoing throughout the state in August.

The harvest of Valencia oranges continued throughout August as citrus groves were skirted and pruned for insect control. Tangelo, grapefruit, and lemon harvests remained active.

The initial 2014-15 Navel orange forecast is 81.0 million cartons on 133,000 bearing acres. Of the total Navel orange forecast, 78.0 million cartons are estimated to be in the Central Valley. This forecast is based on the results of the 2014-15 Navel Orange Objective Measurement (O.M.) Survey, which was conducted from July 13 to Sept. 2. 

The varieties forecast in this report include conventional, organic, and specialty Navel oranges (including Cara Cara and Blood orange varieties).

NASS is predicting a record California walnut harvest of 545,000 tons on 290,000 acres, an 11 percent yield improvement from the previous year. Industry leaders report walnut prices were at record high levels in late September.

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