Winter wheat, cotton production falls

California farmers are expected to produce 672,000 tons of winter wheat in 2008, 34 percent below last year, according to the Sacramento, Calif., field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The 280,000 acres expected to be harvested for grain are down 30 percent from last year. The yield is expected to average 2.4 tons per acre, 6 percent below last year.

California’s durum wheat production is forecast at 365,000 tons, a decrease of 25 percent from 2008. Acreage expected for harvest, at 135,000, is 13 percent below last year’s acreage. The expected yield of 2.7 tons per acre is down 14 percent from the previous year.

United States winter wheat production is forecast at 45.1 million tons, down 20 percent from 2008. Based on conditions as of May 1, the U.S. yield is expected to average 1.33 tons, 6 percent below May 2008. Harvested acreage was estimated at 34 million acres, down 14 percent from last year.

The U.S. estimate for Durum wheat production for states other than Arizona and California will not be available until July 10, 2009.

• 2008 California cotton production

California farmers produced 367,000 bales (480 pounds net weight) of upland cotton in 2008, 44 percent less than the 650,000 bales produced in 2007. Harvested acreage, at 117,000, was 40 percent below the 194,000 harvested the previous year. The average yield was 1,506 pounds per acre, 102 pounds below 2007.

American-Pima production in California totaled 403,000 bales, down 49 percent from the 793,000 bales produced the previous year. Harvested acreage, at 151,000, was 41 percent below the 257,000 harvested in 2007. The average yield was 1,281 pounds per acre, 200 pounds below the previous year.

All cotton production in the United States is estimated at 12.8 million, 480-pound bales, down 3 percent from the previous year’s production. The U.S. all cotton yield averaged 813 pounds per acre, down 66 pounds from 2007.

The U.S. Upland cotton production is estimated at 12.4 million 480-pound bales, down 33 percent from the previous season. The U.S. yield for upland cotton is estimated at 803 pounds per acre, down 61 pounds from 2007.

The U.S. American-Pima production totaled 831,000 bales, down 49 percent from the previous season. The yield for American-Pima is 1,226 pounds per acre, down 193 pounds from last year.

• California field crop prices – April 2009

Mid-April prices received by California farmers were unchanged for all types of hay. Prices for all potatoes, winter potatoes, and fall potatoes were below the previous months level.

Mid-month prices for wheat, dry edible beans, and upland cotton lint were not published to avoid possible disclosure of individual operations. There were insufficient sales to establish a mid-month price for oats and barley. Prices were above a year earlier for all potatoes, fall potatoes, and winter potatoes.

• California spring potatoes

California’s spring potato production is forecast at 7.53 million cwt., up 8 percent from the April 1 forecast, 9 percent above last year. Most growers reported a healthy crop and are expecting excellent yields. Reports indicated that the crop was in excellent condition and had rebounded well from inclement weather conditions.

Nationally, the 2009 spring production is forecast at 21.3 million cwt., up 2 percent from the April forecast and 6 percent higher than 2008. Area for harvest is forecast at 73,400 acres, up 2 percent from the previous forecast and an increase of 7 percent from 2008. The average yield of 291 cwt. per acre is up 3 cwt. from the April forecast, but is 2 cwt. lower than 2008.

• May 1 California fall potato stocks

California’s fall potato stocks were estimated at 500,000 cwt. as of May 1, 2009, 9 percent more than last year's holdings. Stocks represented 13 percent of the 2008 fall production and 12 percent of the previous year.

The 13 major potato states held 75.4 million cwt. of potatoes in storage May 1, 2009, down 10 percent from last year and 5 percent below May 1, 2007. Potatoes in storage accounted for 21 percent of the 2008 fall storage states' production, unchanged from last year. Klamath Basin stocks totaled 750,000 cwt. on May 1, 2009, up 32 percent from last year.

Disappearance from the start of harvest to May 1 was at 292 million cwt., 7 percent below last year, and down 6 percent from 2007. Shrink and loss, at 22.3 million cwt., was down 7 percent from the same period in both 2007 and 2008.

Processors have used 149 million cwt. of the 2008 potato crop so far this season, down 10 percent from last year's season-to-date usage, and down 9 percent from 2 years ago.

• California hay stocks on farms

Stocks of hay on California farms as of May 1, 2009, totaled 470,000 tons. This is 20 percent of the Dec. 1 stocks and was 88 percent above May 1, 2008.

United States May 1 stocks of hay on farms totaled 22.1 million tons of hay. This was 21 percent of the Dec. 1 stocks, and was 2 percent above the previous year.

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