News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #01-043
SACRAMENTO-The latest reports from California growers and producers indicate that the initial forecast for 2001 almond production is a record 875 million pounds. This is up 24 percent from last year's revised production of 703 million pounds. Estimated bearing acreage for 2001 is 525 thousand. This forecast is based on calls made April 23 - May 3 to a sample of almond growers. Of the 415 growers sampled, 249 reports were usable. Acreage from the usable reports accounted for 16 percent of the total bearing acreage.

With the cyclical nature of almonds, the 2001 season began with growers expecting a much heavier set than last year. Yields were expected to return to 1999's level. However, weather conditions have been less than ideal, resulting in reduced expectations for the 2001 crop. Low temperatures and rain during the critical bloom period decreased the ability of bees to successfully pollinate many orchards across the State. Also, high winds blew over some trees, particularly in older orchards. Despite the poor weather conditions, yields are expected to be up 19 percent from last year, but 4 percent below 1999's record yield. The crop progress appears to be near normal, maybe slightly behind in certain areas.

The 2001 Freestone peach crop is forecast at 770 million pounds, down 4 percent from the previous year. Bearing acreage is estimated at 39,000 acres, resulting in a yield of 19,744 pounds per acre. The 2001 Clingstone peach crop forecast is 1,000 million pounds, down 6 percent from the previous year. Bearing acreage is estimated at 28,800 acres with a yield of 34,722 pounds per acre. After experiencing a good bloom, frost and hailstorms during the first part of April caused sporadic damage to the peach crop across the State. Significant hail damage was reported to Freestone orchards in Fresno County, with the damage more prominent in the fresh market crop than processed. The Clingstone crop set looks good in the Extra Earlies and Earlies, while lighter sets have been reported in the Lates and Extra Lates. Growers are continuing to evaluate their orchards to assess the overall impact of frost and hail damage to their crop.

The 2001 winter wheat production forecast is 28.5 million bushels, up 16 percent from 2000. Harvested acreage is estimated at 380,000 with a yield of 75.0 bushels per acre. Plenty of rainfall through most of the State has resulted in mostly good conditions with no major pest or disease problems thus far. Some fields with poor drainage were affected by excessive rainfall. Durum wheat 2001 production is forecast to be 8.10 million bushels, down 16 percent from 2000. Harvested acres are estimated at 81,000 with a yield of 100 bushels per acre. The Durum wheat crop condition was reported as good-to-excellent with no major pest or disease problems thus far.

The 2000-01 avocado crop production forecast is 208,000 tons, up 29 percent from the previous year. Bearing acreage is estimated at 59,000 with a yield of 3.53 tons per acre.

The California Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between the California Department of Food and Agriculture and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This joint service prepares and distributes statistics on California agriculture

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814