Microsoft Word - KS Edited Final Version, Risher, 4-28-09
The USDA-NASS, California Field Office today released the crop production forecast for July. The latest survey, which was conducted during the last week of June and the first week of July, included the following commodities.
Grapes - The California all grape forecast on 786 thousand bearing acres is 6.25 million tons, down 4% from last year’s crop. Specifically, the wine grape forecast on 482 thousand bearing acres is 3.30 million tons, up 8% from last season. The expected table grape production on 83.0 thousand acres is 850 thousand tons, down 13% from 2008, while the raisin grape production on 221 thousand bearing acres is forecast at 2.10 million tons, a decrease of 16% from last year’s crop.
The 2009 California grape crop is shaping up to be in a normal range. Bunch counts were reported to be stronger than last year. The cooler than normal weather has been excellent for berry development, although it is also ideal weather for mildew. There have more than normal reports of berry shatter this year, too, but it remains to be seen how much of an effect that will have. Water availability is a concern for many growers.
Almonds - California's almond production is forecast at 1.35 billion meat pounds, a decrease of 17% from last year's crop. The forecast is based on 710 thousand bearing acres. After a difficult spring, the 2009 almond crop is generally in good condition, although it looks to be about 2 weeks behind. Bloom progressed slowly due to wet conditions, and wet weather hampered pollination. Cool temperatures did extend the almond bloom in parts of the Sacramento Valley. Freezing temperatures in March caused damage to some almond orchards. Mites were present on almonds across the state; however, control measures combined with some spring rains resulted in little damage to the crop. Irrigation water availability is a concern but has had minimal impact on the 2009 crop.
Peaches - The 2009 California Freestone peach crop forecast is 350 thousand tons, down 5% from the June forecast, and 19% below the 2008 crop. Bearing acres are estimated at 28.0 thousand. California experienced an adequate number of chilling hours, thus benefiting the Freestone crop. Freezing temperatures hit California in early March, which resulted in frost damage in some areas. Frost damage, along with a decrease in the bearing acres, have resulted in a forecasted lower production for the 2009 crop. Harvest continued during June with Brittney Lane, Crimson Lady, Spring Flame, Earlirich, Sierra Snow, and Ivory Princess the major varieties harvested. Demand is reported to be very good. The 2009 California Clingstone peach crop forecast is 440 thousand tons, unchanged from the June forecast, but 3% above the 2008 crop. Bearing acres are estimated at 24.6 thousand.
The 2009 bloom looked good to very good in all areas of the state. Freezing temperatures hit California in early March, resulting in slight frost damage in some areas. Following a series of rainstorms in early March, growers had good weather for pruning, spraying, and tree planting activities. By the end of April, the fruit was starting to differentiate in size. Harvest began on June 18, which was the same starting date as last year. Growers were busy spraying for insect and disease control. Weed control and irrigation continued.
Apricots - California’s apricot production is forecast at 66.0 thousand tons, unchanged from the June forecast, but down 14% from the 2008 crop. Bearing acres are estimated to be 10.7 thousand. California apricot harvest should be complete in the coming weeks. Cooler temperatures have allowed for a uniform harvest. After frost early in the year, producers are reporting good yields. Factors contributing to the positive yield reports are limited pest problems and cooperative weather since the frost. Producers have also been able to secure water for postharvest irrigation.
Oranges - The 2008-2009 California Navel orange forecast is 76.0 million cartons, unchanged from the April forecast, but down 16% from the 2007-2008 production. As the navel orange season ended, fruit quality and size continued to be mostly good, though some crop damage resulted from freezing temperatures in March and extended heat in May. The Valencia orange forecast is 30.0 million cartons, unchanged from the April forecast, but down 12% from last season’s crop. The Valencia season is off to a slow start, though growers are enjoying excellent fruit size and quality. Freezes in March and extended heat in May have caused concern for the crop, but overall growers remain optimistic.
Lemons - The 2008-2009 California lemon forecast is 44.0 million cartons, up 16% from the April forecast, and up 49% from last season’s crop. Harvest continues in the southern coastal areas. Fruit size and quality have been good, though demand has been lackluster. Concerns among growers regarding freezing temperatures in March and high temperatures in May have abated, giving way to confidence in a good crop year.
Grapefruit - The 2008-2009 California grapefruit forecast is 8.60 million cartons, down 2% from the April forecast, and down 17% from last season. Star Ruby variety harvest was nearly complete at the end of June. The coastal regions entered Marsh Ruby variety season at the end of June.
Other Crops - Barley production is forecast at 58.6 thousand tons, down 19% from the previous year. Oat production is forecast to be 32.0 thousand tons, 33% above 2008. Winter wheat production is expected to be 672 thousand tons, down 34% from 2008. Durum wheat production is forecast at 465 thousand tons, 5% below 2008.