SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agricultureís (CDFA) Agricultural Statistics Service today released the crop production forecast for April, which shows increases for some commodities when compared to estimates from last seasonís crops.
The latest survey, which was conducted during the last week of March and the first week of April, includes the following commodities:
Navel Oranges - The 2000-01 Navel orange forecast is 68.0 million cartons, unchanged from the January forecast, but down 15% from last season's crop. Harvest of the Navel orange crop is approaching 80 percent complete, with most of the unharvested oranges being late varieties. Overall quality was good this season with large individual fruit size.
Valencia Oranges - The Valencia orange forecast is 46.0 million cartons, down 4% from the 1999-00 production and down 8% from the January 2001 forecast. Harvest of the Valencia orange crop was underway in the desert area during March, while just beginning in other areas of the State by late March. Most of the fruit currently is going to exports. Fruit set is up significantly in Southern California, but down in the Central Valley. Good fruit sizes are reported in both areas.
Grapefruit - The 2000-01 California grapefruit forecast is estimated at 14.4 million cartons, up 3% from the 1999-00 production, but unchanged from the January 2001 forecast. Fruit set is light compared to last seasonís, but individual fruit size is larger. Quality remains extremely good. Picking continues in the desert area.
Lemons - The 2000-01 California lemon forecast is 44.0 million cartons, up 12% from the 1999-00 production and up 5% from the January 2001 forecast. Fruit quality and size remain good. Harvest remains active in the southern coastal regions. Precipitation in February and March has slowed harvest.
Tangerines - The 2000-01 California tangerine forecast is 5.20 million cartons, up 13% from last season's crop and up 18% from the January 2001 forecast. A normal crop is expected, with the majority of the supply coming from the Central Valley. Fruit size and quality are good. Heavy precipitation in February and March has slowed harvest.
Strawberries - The 2001 California strawberry production forecast is 14.1 million cwt., down 7% from the 2000 crop of 15.2 million cwt. Harvested acreage is estimated at 26,400, with a resulting yield of 535 cwt. per acre. Relatively cooler temperatures during December and January in Southern California have slowed strawberry production compared to last years. Total fresh strawberry shipments by the end of January were 55% less than the same time frame in 2000. Despite some minor frost and rain damage earlier in the year, good to outstanding fruit quality is being reported.
Californiaís Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between CDFA and the Unites States Department of Agriculture. Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. The next production forecast will be issued May 10, 2001.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814