SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agricultureís (CDFA) Agricultural Statistics Service today released the crop production forecast for January. The latest survey, which was conducted during December 2002 and the first week of January 2003, includes the following commodities:
Cotton-American Pima harvested acreage is estimated at 209,000 acres. Production is set at 580,000 bales, a 9 percent decrease from last year, but unchanged from the December 1 forecast. The resulting yield is 1,332 pounds per acre. Upland harvested acreage is estimated at 477,000 acres. Production is set at 1.43 million bales, a 19 percent decrease from last year, but unchanged from the December 1 forecast. The resulting yield is 1,439 pounds per acre, unchanged from December. Planting of cotton went very well this year. The crop progressed well during the year, despite some early cool spells in late April and early May. Growth of cotton during the summer months was reported as ranging from good-to-excellent, with crop progress near normal or even slightly ahead of normal. Insect pressure remained light, with small numbers of whiteflies and aphids reported late in the season, which is normal. Harvest 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. The Pima cotton harvest followed in early October. All cotton harvesting was completed by the end of December, with no problems reported.
Oranges-The 2002-03 California Navel orange forecast is 80.0 million cartons, unchanged from October, but 18 percent above last season's crop. Recent rainfall has slowed harvesting, but has also enhanced fruit size. The fruit are still expected to be smaller this year, but sets are reported to be heavier. There are some concerns that if relatively mild temperatures persist, the crop may mature too quickly, leading to a shorter season. Oil spotting, wind scars, and sunburn are among the major defects observed so far, but overall fruit quality is good. The 2002-03 Valencia orange forecast is 42.0 million cartons, down 9 percent from the October forecast and 5 percent below last seasonís crop. Smaller sizes and heavy sets are being reported for the upcoming Valencia crop. Recent high winds may result in some fruit scarring and loss, but no other major problems have been noted as yet.
Lemons- The 2002-03 California lemon forecast is 46.0 million cartons, up 10 percent from October and 21 percent above last year. The season is progressing with no major problems to date. Harvest is active in the desert, Central Valley and south coastal areas with very good quality reported.
Tangerines - The 2002-03 California tangerine crop is forecast at 5.00 million cartons, up 9 percent from October and up 14 percent from last year. This yearís tangerine season is progressing with no major problems to date. Shape is normal and quality has been reported to be very good.
Grapefruit-The 2002-03 California grapefruit forecast is estimated at 11.2 million cartons, down 10 percent from October and 7 percent below last year. Pummelo, Oroblanco, and Marsh Ruby grapefruit harvests are active in the desert with overall quality reported as very good.
Californiaís Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between CDFA and the Unites States Department of Agriculture. Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. The next production forecast will be issued February 11, 2003.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814