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California Field Crop Review

The following is the latest California Field Crop Review from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office.

• Cotton

California's 2009 Upland cotton production is estimated at 250,000, 480-pound bales as of Dec. 1, a decrease of 32 percent from last year. This is based on 70,000 acres for harvest. The yield calculates to 1,714 pounds per acre. Harvest was complete by mid-December.

California's 2009 American Pima cotton production is estimated at 330,000, 480-pound bales, 18 percent below last year's crop. The 1,247 pounds per acre yield is 3 percent below 2008.

All cotton (U.S.) production is forecast at 12.6 million, 480-pound bales, up 1 percent from last month, but down 2 percent from last year.

U.S. Upland cotton production is forecast at 12.2 million, 480-pound bales, up 1 percent from last month, but down 1 percent from last year. Producers in the Southeastern U.S. are expecting increased yields due to ideal weather conditions for this year’s late planted crop.

Texas producers are also expecting higher yields. Upland growers in California, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, and Oklahoma are expecting record high yields.

U.S. American Pima production forecast at 367,000 bales was carried forward from the August 2009 forecast.

• California crop prices, Nov. 2009

Prices received by California farmers at mid-November were above the previous month for all hay and other hay, but below last month for fall potatoes. Alfalfa prices remained the same.

Mid-November prices for upland cotton lint and wheat were not published to avoid possible disclosure of individual operations.

There was insufficient data to establish a mid-November price for dry edible beans, oats, and barley. Prices were below a year earlier for all potatoes, fall potatoes, all types of hay, and cottonseed.

• Dry edible beans

California 2009 dry bean production is estimated at 1.39 million cwt., 45 percent above last year. Harvested acreage totaled 68,000, 31 percent above the previous year. The overall yield was 2,050 pounds per acre, up 11 percent from last year.

Large lima production at 268,000 cwt. was 15 percent below the 2008 crop. Baby lima production estimated at 352,000 cwt. was 47 percent above last year's crop. Light red kidney production at 40,000 cwt. was 54 percent above last year.

The dark red kidney output of 9,000 cwt. was 13 percent above the 2008 crop. The blackeye crop of 303,000 cwt. was 142 percent below last year. Production of garbanzos totaled 283,000 cwt., 144 percent above last year.

U.S. dry edible bean production is forecast at 25.2 million cwt. for 2009, virtually unchanged from the Oct. 1 forecast, but 1 percent below 2008. Planted area is forecast at 1.53 million acres, up slightly from the October forecast, and 3 percent above 2008.

Harvested area is forecast at 1.45 million acres, 1 percent above the October forecast, but virtually unchanged from the previous year’s acreage.

The average U.S. yield is forecast at 1,737 pounds per acre, a decrease of 17 pounds from October’s forecast, and 31 pounds below the 2008 yield. Production is expected to be higher than last year in 11 of the 17 states in the dry bean estimating program in 2009.

The top four-producing states are forecasting a decrease in production. The production forecast in the largest production state, North Dakota, is down 17 percent from a year ago, while Michigan dropped 3 percent from 2008. Minnesota and Nebraska’s production is expected to be down 11 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

• Fall potato production

California's fall potato production is forecast at 4.16 million cwt., up 5 percent from 2008. Favorable weather conditions resulted in excellent crop quality and yields.

U.S. production of fall potatoes for 2009 is forecast at 394 million cwt., up 1 percent from the November forecast, and up 4 percent from last year.

Area harvested at 919,400 acres is slightly below the November forecast and 2008 estimate. The average yield forecast at 429 cwt. per acre is up 3 cwt. per acre from November’s forecast and up 18 cwt. per acre from last year. If realized, it will be the highest yield on record.

Idaho’s yield is forecast at 411 cwt. per acre. If realized, this will be Idaho’s highest yield on record, 25 cwt. above the record yield set in 2006. Production in Idaho is up 13 percent from last year. In eastern Washington, potato harvest was virtually completed by late November.

• Fall potato stocks

California's fall potato stocks were estimated at 2.1 million cwt. as of Dec. 1, 2009, 11 percent above last year. The amount in storage represents 51 percent of production, compared with 48 percent a year ago.

The 13 major potato states held 265 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Dec. 1, up 9 percent from a year ago, but slightly below Dec. 1, 2007. Potatoes in storage accounted for 69 percent of the 2009 fall storage state production.

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