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California Field Crop Review

Here is the latest California Field Crop Review from the Sacramento, Calif., Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Wheat forecast

California farmers are expected to produce 798,000 tons of winter wheat in 2010, 6 percent above last year. The 380,000 acres expected to be harvested for grain are up 21 percent from last year. The yield is expected to average 2.1 tons per acre, 12.5 percent below last year.

California's Durum wheat production is forecast at 331,000 tons, a decrease of 35 percent from 2009. Acreage expected for harvest at 105,000 is 38 percent below last year's acreage. The expected yield of 3.15 tons per acre is up 5 percent from the previous year.

U.S. winter wheat production is forecast at 43.8 million tons, down 4 percent from 2009. Based on May 1 conditions, the yield is forecast at 1.38 tons per acre, up .06 tons from the previous year. Expected grain area totals 31.8 million acres, down 8 percent from last year.

The U.S. estimate for Durum wheat production for states other than Arizona and California will not be available until July 9, 2010.

2009 cotton production

California farmers produced 240,000 bales (480 pound net weight) of Upland cotton in 2009, 35 percent less than the 367,000 bales produced in 2008. Harvested acreage at 70,000 was 40 percent below the 117,000 harvested the previous year. The average yield was 1,646 pounds per acre, 140 pounds above 2008.

American-Pima producers planted 119,000 acres, down 23 percent from last year. Harvested area at 116,000 acres is down 23 percent from last year. Production is estimated at 399,900 bales (480-pounds), down 7 percent from last year. The average yield is estimated at 1,494 pounds per acre, up 213 pounds from last year.

All U.S. cotton production is estimated at 12.2 million 480-pound bales, down 5 percent from the previous year. The U.S. all cotton yield averaged 777 pounds per acre, down 36 pounds from 2008.

The U.S. Upland cotton production is estimated at 11.8 million 480-pound bales, down 5 percent from the previous season. The U.S. yield for upland cotton is estimated at 766 pounds per acre, down 37 pounds from 2008.

The U.S. American-Pima production totaled 399,900 bales, down 7 percent from the previous season. The yield for American-Pima is 1,389 pounds per acre, up 163 pounds from last year.

California field crop prices

Mid-April prices received by California farmers were unchanged for all types of hay and other hay. Prices for all potatoes and fall potatoes were below the previous month's level. Mid-month prices for wheat and dry edible beans were not published to avoid possible disclosure of individual operations. There were insufficient sales to establish a mid-month price for barley. Prices were above a year earlier for alfalfa hay.

Spring potatoes

California spring potato production is forecast at 12.25 million per hundredweight (cwt.), up 4 percent from the previous forecast. Growers reported good conditions and a normal crop year.

Nationally, production for 2010 is forecast at 26.1 million cwt., up 2 percent from the April forecast and 22 percent from 2009. However, beginning in 2010 California winter and summer season potatoes are included in the spring season total.

Area for harvest is forecast at 89,600 acres, unchanged from the previous forecast, but 22 percent above 2009. The average yield of 291 cwt. per acre is up 5 cwt from the April forecast, and 2 cwt more than 2009.

May 1 fall potato stocks

California's fall potato stocks were estimated at 600,000 cwt. as of May 1, 2010, 20 percent more than last year's holdings. Stocks represented 14 percent of the 2009 fall production and 13 percent of the previous year.

The 13 major potato States held 87 million cwt. of potatoes in storage May 1, 2010, up 11 percent from a year ago. Potatoes in storage accounted for 23 percent of the 2009 fall storage states' production, 2 percentage points above May 1, 2009. Klamath Basin stocks totaled 770 thousand cwt. on May 1, 2010, up 3 percent from a year ago. Klamath Basin stocks include potatoes stored in California and Klamath County, Ore.

Potato disappearance, at 297 million cwt., was 2 percent above May 1, 2009. Season-to-date shrink and loss, at 26.6 million cwt., was up 19 percent from the same date in 2009.

Hay stocks on farms

Stocks of hay on California farms as of May 1, 2010 totaled 432,000 tons. This is 18 percent of the Dec. 1 stocks and was 8 percent below May 1, 2009.

All U.S. hay stored on farms May 1, 2010 totaled 20.9 million tons, down 5 percent from a year ago. Disappearance from Dec. 1, 2009-May 1, 2010 totaled 86.3 million tons, compared with 81.6 million tons for the same period a year ago.

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