News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #02-036
SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) California Agricultural Statistics Service has released crop production forecasts on selected crops for June 2002.

Apricots - Apricot production for 2002 is forecast at 75,000 tons, down 3% from the 2001 crop. Bearing acreage is estimated at 17,000. Growers in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley are reported to have a light set due mostly to the low number of chilling hours experienced during the winter months. The Patterson variety, which accounts for over half the state’s production, is reported to have a normal set. Cool temperatures experienced during May have resulted in good sizes with excellent quality. Harvest began during the first week in May.

Sweet Cherries - The 2002 California sweet cherry crop, at 65,000 tons, is up 18% from the 2001 crop. Bearing acreage is estimated at 26,000. An increase in bearing acreage and the absence of weather difficulties during bloom have resulted in a large cherry crop. Hail storms during May did not have a major impact on production or quality in California. Quality is reported to be good with favorable sizes.

Peaches - The 2002 California Freestone peach crop forecast is 415,000 tons, up 7% from the 2001 crop. Bearing acreage is estimated at 39,000. Freestone peach growers in California experienced excellent weather conditions during bloom resulting in a heavy set. Harvest of Freestone peaches began around the middle of May. California’s Clingstone peach crop is forecast to be 525,000 tons, up 5% from the May forecast and 10% above the previous year. Bearing acreage is estimated at 30,700 acres. Clingstone peach growers did not experience any weather difficulties during bloom. Set is reported to be lighter in the Sacramento Valley than in the northern San Joaquin Valley. Harvest is expected to begin around the middle of June.

Bartlett Pears -The initial forecast of the 2002 Bartlett pear crop in California is 260,000 tons, up 10% from last season. Bearing acreage is estimated at 13,500, down 4% from last season. Growers have pulled hundreds of acres in response to various economic pressures, such as competition from imported pears.

Prunes - The 2002 California prune crop is estimated at 155,000 dried tons, up 3% from last year. Bearing acreage is estimated to be 76,000, down 12% from the previous year. The crop experienced favorable weather conditions during early bloom. However, warm and dry conditions affected the crop near the end of bloom. Frost damage was also reported in some areas of California.

Wheat - Winter wheat production for 2002 in California is forecast at 23.3 million bushels, unchanged from the May forecast, but down 13% from last year. The yield forecast is 75 bushels per acre from 310,000 harvested acres. Durum wheat production in California is forecast at 9.0 million bushels, unchanged from the May forecast, but up 6% from last year. The yield forecast is 100 bushels per acre from 90,000 harvested acres. Most of the winter wheat crop has been reported in good condition, while the Durum wheat crop condition was mainly good-to-excellent. Winter wheat harvest is underway in both the Imperial and San Joaquin valleys. Harvest in the Sacramento Valley will begin by mid June. Durum wheat harvest was active in the Imperial Valley, while harvest in the San Joaquin Valley should begin in early June. Recent rains in the Sacramento Valley should have only a minimal effect on crop quality. Dry land wheat growers in Southern California were affected significantly by prolonged dry weather. No major pests or diseases were reported.

The California Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between CDFA and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This joint service prepares and distributes statistics on California agriculture. The next production report will be issued on July 11, 2002.

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