The USDA-NASS, California Field Office today released the crop production forecast for September. The latest survey, which was conducted during the last week of August and the first week of September, included the following commodities:
Oranges, Navel – California's initial 2008-09 Navel orange forecast is 64.0 million 37.5-pound cartons, 34% below last season's crop of 97.0 million cartons. Of the total forecast, 62.0 million cartons are estimated to be in the Central Valley. Bearing acreage for the State is estimated at 137 thousand, resulting in a yield of 467 cartons per acre. The forecast is based on the Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey conducted in the Central Valley. Survey data indicated an average fruit set of 202 oranges per tree, with a September 1 diameter of 2.28 inches.
Walnuts – The 2008 California walnut production is forecast at 375 thousand tons, up 15 percent from 325 thousand tons in 2007. Bearing acreage is estimated at 218 thousand, resulting in a yield of 1.72 tons per acre.
The forecast is based on the Walnut Objective Measurement Survey conducted during August. Survey data indicated an average nut set of 1,416 per tree, up 4% from 2007's average of 1,357. The San Joaquin Valley set is 1,270, up 9% from last year; the coastal area set is 973, down 20% from 2007; the Sacramento Valley set is 1,592, up 3% from last year. The percentage of sound kernels in-shell was 98.0% statewide.
Cotton - Upland cotton production in California is forecast at 390 thousand bales, down 40% from the 2007 crop, but 16% above the August 1 forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated at 117 thousand, up 10 thousand from the previous forecast. Yield is forecast at 1,600 pounds per acre, up 6% from last month. The forecast for American Pima cotton production is 420 thousand bales, down 47% from the 2007 crop, and down 13% from the August 1 estimate. Harvested acreage is estimated at 151 thousand, down 20 thousand from the previous forecast. Yield is forecast at 1,335 pounds per acre, down 1% from last month.
Rice - All rice production in California for 2008 is forecast at 40.3 million cwt., down 8% from the previous year. The yield forecast is 7,800 pounds per acre, up 1% from the August 1 forecast. Planted and harvested acreages are estimated at 519 thousand and 517 thousand acres, respectively. Rice fields were in various stages of heading during August. Harvest is expected to begin during September.
Corn - Corn for grain production in California for 2008 is forecast at 1.05 million tons, up 5% from last year's crop, unchanged from the August forecast. With acreage estimated at 215 thousand acres, the yield is 4.90 tons per acre. Compared to the 2007 crop year, harvested acreage is up 8%, but yield is down 3%.
Sugar Beets - The 2008 California sugar beet production forecast is 1.21 million tons, up 4% from the August forecast, but down 18% from last season. Harvested acreage remains unchanged from last month with 30.9 thousand acres, resulting in a yield of 39.1 tons per acre.