SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Agricultural Statistics Service has released the crop production forecast for April. The latest survey includes the following commodities:
Oranges - The 2001-02 Navel orange forecast is 64.0 million cartons, unchanged from the January 2002 forecast, but down 11% from last season's crop. Harvesting of Navels is expected to reach an early conclusion this season. While overall production is down from last year, the harvested fruit is larger than in previous years. The 2001-02 Valencia orange forecast is 46.0 million cartons, up 10% from the 2000-01 production and up 5% from the January 2002 forecast. Recent Santa Ana winds caused scarring on some of the southern crop. Production in the Central Valley is well underway, and fruit quality is reported to be good.
Grapefruit - The 2001-02 California grapefruit forecast is estimated at 12.8 million cartons, down 2% from the 2000-01 production, but up 3% from the January 2002 forecast. Harvest of Rio Red and Marsh Ruby grapefruit continued in the desert. The Rio Red exterior quality is excellent, with a uniform shape, and smooth texture in nearly all sizes. The Marsh Ruby exterior quality is goodtoexcellent, with a normal shape, while texture is smooth-to-pebbly in the larger sizes.
Lemons - The 2001-02 California lemon forecast is 44.0 million cartons, down 3% from the 2000-01 season, but unchanged from the January 2002 forecast. Harvest continued in the Central Valley, but is winding down. Quality and color remained good. Fruit growth has been hampered, with sizes reportedly medium-to-small due to lack of rain this season. The southern coastal harvest is approximately 40 percent complete. Quality has diminished due to Santa Ana winds and spotty frost damage. The desert valley harvest was virtually complete for the season and packed grades have been very good.
Tangerines - The 2001-02 California tangerine forecast is 4.60 million cartons, up 10% from last season's crop, but unchanged from the January forecast. The season has progressed well with no major problems to date. The Central Valley harvest continued, with Mineolas the dominant variety harvested; quality and color were good. The desert valley harvest neared completion.
Strawberries - The 2002 California strawberry production forecast is 14.0 million cwt., up 1% from the 2001 crop of 13.9 million cwt. Harvested acreage is estimated at 28,500, with a resulting yield of 490 cwt. per acre.
California’s Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between CDFA and the United States Department of Agriculture. Production forecasts are released monthly and do not reflect final production estimates. The next production forecast will be issued May 10, 2002.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814