The USDA-NASS, California Field Office today released the crop production forecast for October. The latest survey, which was conducted during the last week of September and the first week of October, included the following commodities:
Cotton - American Pima cotton production in California is forecast at 330 thousand bales, unchanged from last month's forecast, and down 18% from the 2008 crop. Harvested acreage is estimated at 127 thousand acres, resulting in a yield of 1,247 pounds per acre. Upland cotton is forecast at 218 thousand bales, unchanged from last month's forecast, and down 41% from last year. With harvested acreage of 70 thousand, the resulting yield is 1,495 pounds per acre. As of the beginning of October, Cotton harvest had begun on early planted fields. Bolls matured and were opening. Other cotton fields continued to be defoliated. Damage from the recent rain is not included with this report.
Grapes - Production of all grape varieties for the 2009 season is forecast at 6.25 million tons, unchanged from the August forecast, and down 4% from last season. Wine-type variety grape production for California is forecast at 3.40 million tons, up 3% from the August forecast, and up 11% from last year. The table-type grape production is expected to total 850 thousand tons, unchanged from the August forecast, and down 13% from last year. The California raisin-type variety grape forecast is 2.00 million tons, down 5% from the August forecast, and down 20% from 2008. Bunch counts were reported to be stronger than last year. The cooler weather early in the summer was good for berry development. There have been a few problems with mildew, bunchrot and vine mealybug. Water availability was a concern for many growers. Sugar levels and overall quality are looking good. The 2009 raisin grape crop is smaller than last year, but quality and sugar content are better than the previous year. Harvest is earlier than normal; drying weather has been excellent. Recent rains, however likely caused damage that will be reported later
Oranges - The 2009-10 California orange crop is forecast at 110 million cartons, up 13% from last season.
California's Navel orange forecast is 80.0 million cartons, up 16% from the previous season. The 2009-10 navel crop continued to develop well in size and quality. Picking is expected to begin in late-October, and yields are expected be higher than last year. California's Valencia orange forecast is 30.0 million cartons, up 7% from last season.
Others - The grapefruit forecast is 9.40 million cartons, down 16% from last season; lemon forecast is 40.0 million cartons, down 9% from last year; tangerine and mandarin forecast is 14.0 million cartons, up 4%; pecan production forecast is 3.80 million pounds, up 1%. The corn for grain production is 630 thousand tons, down 32%; alfalfa hay forecast is 6.53 million tons, down 2%; other hay production is 2.37 million tons, up 9%; dry edible bean production is 1.39 million cwt., up 45%; and the rice crop is 46.7 million cwt., up 8% from last year.