News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #03-024
SACRAMENTO - The following is an estimate of crop plantings for 2003, according to the California Agricultural Statistics Service. These estimates are based on a survey of more than 2,000 California farmers conducted during the first two weeks of March. The impact of weather and/or market conditions since then is not reflected in this report.

Cotton - California farmers were intending to plant 540,000 acres to Upland cotton in 2003, up 13 percent from the acreage seeded in 2002. In addition, growers were expecting to seed 170,000 acres to American Pima cotton in 2003, down 19 percent from last year.

Corn - California farmers were expected to plant 520,000 acres of corn for all purposes in 2003, 5 percent less than last year.

Oats - Farmers in California had planted or were expected to plant 250,000 acres of oats, down 4 percent from 2002.

Wheat - Acreage seeded to Winter wheat is estimated at 610,000 acres, up 15 percent from last year. Another 100,000 acres have been seeded to Durum wheat, up 5 percent from 2002.

Rice - California farmers intended to seed rice on 530,000 acres, a 1 percent decrease from the 2002 seeded acreage. The expressed intentions were to seed 500,000 acres to medium grain varieties, unchanged from a year ago. Long grain rice acreage is forecast at 5,000 acres, down 29 percent from last season. Short grain rice planted acreage is forecast at 25,000 acres, 4 percent below 2002. For the first time, short grain and all rice forecasts include the intended plantings of sweet rice.

Barley - California farmers had planted or intended to plant 130,000 acres to barley, unchanged from the previous year.

Sugar Beets - California producers had planted or intended to plant 50,500 acres of sugar beets, up 1 percent from the seeded acreage in 2002.

Dry Edible Beans - Seeding of dry edible beans was planned for 80,000 acres in California, down 13 percent from last year.

Sweet Potatoes - California farmers were expected to plant 10,100 acres of sweet potatoes in 2003, 3 percent less than last year.

All Hay - California producers intended to harvest hay from 1.46 million acres, 11 percent less than last year.

The California Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between the California Department of Food and Agriculture and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The joint service prepares and distributes statistics on California agriculture.

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