Sacramento - The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Agricultural Statistics Service has released the crop production forecasts for October. The latest survey, conducted during the first week of October 2002, includes the following commodities:
Grapes- Production of all grape varieties for the 2002 season is forecast at 6.67 million tons, up 12% from last season. Raisin grape production is 2.70 million tons, up 23%, while the table grape production forecast is 770,000 tons, up 8% from last year. Wine grapes are forecast at 3.20 million tons, up 5%. Harvest of Thompson Seedless variety grapes for fresh and wine use was still active in late September. The weather conditions for wine grapes have been good and harvest has progressed rapidly. Raisin trays were rolled in approximately 60% of the harvested vineyards and about 40% of the trays had been picked up by the end of September.
Oranges- The 2002-03 California orange crop is forecast at 126 million cartons, up 13% from last year. California’s Navel orange forecast is 80.0 million cartons, up 18%. Picking of early season Navel orange varieties is expected to begin in mid to late October. The oranges appear to be sizing normally at this point and are not expected to be as large as those picked the previous year. California’s Valencia orange forecast is 46.0 million cartons, up 5% from last season.
Grapefruit- California’s grapefruit forecast is 12.4 million cartons, up 3% from last season. Initial size measurements are reported to be very good with good quality.
Cotton- American Pima cotton is forecast at 570,000 bales, an increase of 2% from the September 1 forecast, but a decrease of 11% from last year. Harvested acreage is estimated to be 209,000, resulting in a yield of 1,309 pounds per acre. Upland cotton is forecast at 1.43 million bales, up 6% from
last year. Harvested acreage is estimated to be 477,000, resulting in a yield of 1,439 pounds per acre. Planting of cotton began in late April and early May and progressed very well. Cool spells during the spring initially slowed growth in some areas, but warm weather during the summer helped the cotton crop progress well with good plant growth and boll retention reported. In general, insect pressure has been light this year. There have been some recent reports of small numbers of whiteflies, lygus and aphids, but the insects have been at manageable levels. Harvesting of Upland cotton began in the Imperial Valley in mid-September, with picking following in the San Joaquin Valley by late September and early October. As of the first week of October, harvest had started in only a small number of Pima cotton fields
Others- The lemon forecast is 42.0 million cartons, up 11%; tangerine forecast is 4.60 million cartons, up 5%; pecan production forecast is 2.80 million pounds, down 24%. The corn for grain production is 686,000 tons, down 10%; alfalfa hay is 8.24 million tons, up 13%; other hay production is 1.50 million tons, down 9%; and the rice crop is 43.2 million cwt., with a yield of 8,300 pounds per acre from 521,000 harvested acres.
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 November 12, 2002.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814