The USDA-NASS California Field Office has released the crop production forecasts that reflect conditions as of January 1. The latest survey, conducted during the last week of December 2009 and the first week of January 2010, included the following commodities:
Cotton - American Pima production is estimated at 350 thousand bales, up 6% from the December 1 forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated at 116 thousand acres. The resulting yield is 1,448 pounds per acre. Upland production is estimated at 250 thousand bales, unchanged from the December 1 forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated at 70 thousand acres. The yield calculates to 1,714 pounds per acre. As of January 1st, cotton harvest was finished; harvested fields were being shredded and disked.
Oranges - The 2009 - 2010 California Navel orange forecast is 80.0 million cartons, unchanged from the October forecast and up 16% from last season's crop. The 2009-10 navel harvest continued to progress well, with good sizing and quality. Freezing temperatures in December do not appear to have significantly impacted the crop. The 2009-2010 Valencia orange forecast is 30.0 million cartons, unchanged from the October forecast, but up 7% from last season's crop.
Lemons - The 2009 - 2010 California lemon forecast is 40.0 million cartons, 9% 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 continued to be good.
Tangerines - The 2009 - 2010 California tangerine forecast (including mandarins and tangelos) is 16.4 million cartons. Production is 22% above last season's crop and up 17% from the October forecast. Sweeties from Central California became available in early November. Clementine harvest started in mid-November. Satsuma and Fairchild harvest continued with good quality and color. Organic Satsumas became available in mid-December.
Also being harvested in December were Orlandos, Minneolas, Cara Caras, and Moros (Bloods).
Grapefruit - The 2009 - 2010 California grapefruit forecast is 8.4 million cartons, 11% below the October forecast and down 25% from last season's crop. 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 at this time as much of the packing takes place in Texas and Florida this time of year.