SACRAMENTO – The Agricultural Statistics Service of the California Department of Food and Agriculture has released the latest crop production forecasts for September. The survey, conducted during the first week of September 2001, includes the following commodities:
Corn - The corn acreage harvested for grain remains unchanged from June and August at 185,000 acres. The yield per acre also is unchanged at 175 bushels. Compared to the 2000 crop year, the acreage is 21 percent lower, while the yield is 3 percent higher. The resulting production is 32,375,000 bushels, 19 percent less than in 2000.
Cotton – Upland cotton production in California is forecast at 1,850,000 bales, down 16 percent from 2000, but up 6 percent from the August 1 forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated to be 655,000 acres, resulting in a yield of 1,356 pounds per acre. The forecast for American Pima cotton production is 560,000 bales, up 62 percent from the 2000 crop and up 4 percent from the August 1 estimate. Harvested acreage is estimated at 209,000, resulting in a yield of 1,286 pounds per acre. Cotton has progressed well during the summer after a rough start in the spring. Planting started in the San Joaquin Valley in mid-March, but cool and wet weather in March and early April caused a large amount of acreage to be replanted. Warm weather this summer has helped cotton rebound and insect pressure from most pests has remained at manageable levels, although aphids and whiteflies were beginning to affect quality in some areas.
Oranges, Navel - The initial 2001-02 California Navel orange forecast is 64,000,000 cartons, 11 percent below last season's crop. Of this total, 60 million cartons are estimated to be produced in the Central Valley. Bearing acreage is estimated at 128,000, resulting in a yield of 500 cartons per acre. The forecast is based on the Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey conducted in the Central Valley. Survey data indicated an average set of 264 oranges per tree, with a September 1 diameter of 2.483 inches. This is the lowest set but the largest September 1 diameter recorded since the survey began in the 1984-85 season.
Pistachios - The 2001 California pistachio production forecast is 200,000,000 pounds, down 18 percent from last year. Bearing acreage is estimated to be 78,000, 5 percent greater than in 2000. The resulting yield of 2,560 pounds per acre is 21 percent less than last year’s 3,260 pounds per acre.
Rice - All rice production in California for 2001 is forecast at 37,209,000 cwt., down 15 percent from last year. The yield forecast is 7,900 pounds per acre. Planted and harvested acreage remain at 475,000 and 471,000 acres, respectively. Ideal weather conditions early in the season provided the potential for record high yields. But heavy weed infestations and cool nighttime temperatures during sensitive cycles of rice growth have tempered the yield potential.
Sugar Beets - Harvested acreage remains unchanged from last month at 44,500 acres. The yield has been raised to 37.0 tons per acre with a resulting production of 1,647,000 tons of California sugar beets. Sugar beet harvest in the Imperial Valley has concluded with good yields reported. Few disease or insect problems were encountered. Harvesting continues in the San Joaquin Valley. Larger than normal curly top damage from sugar beet leaf hoppers has been observed.
Walnuts - The 2001California walnut production forecast is 280,000 tons, up 17 percent from the 2000 crop of 239,000 tons. Bearing acreage is estimated to be 196,000. The forecast is based on the Walnut Objective Measurement Survey conducted during August. The survey indicated an average nut set of 1,719, up 16 percent from 2000. The San Joaquin Valley set is 1,478, up 23 percent from last year; the coastal area set is 937, down 22 percent from 2000; the Sacramento Valley set is 2,020, up 11 percent from last year. The percent of sound kernels in-shell was 97.8 percent statewide.
California’s Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between CDFA and the United States Department of Agriculture. Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. Late summer and fall harvests may change these estimates considerably. The next production forecast will be issued October 12, 2001.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814