SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s California Agricultural Statistics Service has released production forecasts for selected crops in July.
Grapes - All grape production is forecast at 6.29 million tons, down 6 percent from last year. Specifically, the wine grape production is estimated at 3.05 million tons, down 3 percent from last season’s crop. The expected table grape production is 740 thousand tons, up slightly from 2002, while the raisin grape production is forecast at 2.5 million tons, down 12 percent from last year. Mild May temperatures helped the crop get off to a good start. Production outlook of the crop varies depending on variety and location. Overall, quality and color are expected to be very good.
Almonds - California's almond production is forecast at 1 billion pounds, down 8 percent from last year's record crop. The average nut set per tree is down 14 percent from 2002. Bearing acreage is estimated at 530,000, unchanged from 2002.
Apricots - California’s apricot production is forecast at 85 thousand tons. This is unchanged from both the June 2003 forecast and last year’s crop. Cooler weather hampered fruit growth and maturity of early apricots. However, late rains increased the size of later apricots compared to last year. Warmer weather early in the harvest period helped apricots gain color. Cooler temperatures throughout harvesting helped to slow fruit maturation. Harvesting will be finished by the middle of July.
Peaches - The 2003 California Freestone peach crop is forecast at 385 thousand tons, unchanged from the June 2003 forecast, but down 3 percent from the 2002 crop. Freestone peach harvest is progressing well with approximately 35 percent of the harvest completed by the end of June. The California Clingstone peach crop is forecast at 575 thousand tons, up 2 percent from last year. The July forecast excludes tonnage that will not be harvested because of a green-drop program initiated by the peach industry. Clingstone peach harvest began in the Kingsburg area on June 19th.
Grapefruit - The 2002-03 California grapefruit forecast is estimated at 11.2 million cartons, unchanged from the April forecast, but down 7 percent from the 2001-02 production. The Star Ruby and Marsh Ruby grapefruit harvests were ongoing in the coastal areas of the State. Shape is normal and uniform. Texture is smooth in all but the largest sizes. Flavor and eating quality are excellent.
Lemons - The 2002-03 California lemon forecast is 48 million cartons, up 4 percent from April, and up 26 percent from the 2001-02 production. Quality and color of fruit remain good. Harvest remains active in the southern coastal region while storage levels remain high.
Oranges - The 2002-03 California Navel orange forecast is 80 million cartons, up 18 percent from the 2001‑02 production. Harvesting of the 2002‑03 Navel crop has all but ended, though a few shippers were still moving late varieties at the end of June. Overall crop quality was good, though smaller fruit sizes were noted. Puff, staining, rind breakdown, and internal drying were among the defects observed recently. The Valencia orange forecast is 42 million cartons, up 2 percent from last season. Valencia orange harvesting continues, but had been slow due to low demand and a lack of adequately sized fruit. Overall crop quality has thus far been good, but smaller fruit sizes have been reported in many areas. In addition, some instances of re‑greening have been noted, and the Southern California crop has suffered wind scarring.
Other Crops - Barley production is forecast at 94,656 tons, down 23 percent from the previous year. Oat production is forecast at 38,400 tons, up 11 percent from 2002. Winter wheat production is expected to be 780,000 tons, up 16 percent from 2002. Durum wheat production is 327,750 tons, 21 percent above 2002.
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 August 12, 2003.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814