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California Crop Production report

Here is the latest California Crop Production report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in Sacramento, Calif.

NASS conducted the survey from the last week of April through the first week of May.

• Almonds

The initial forecast for the 2010 California almond production is 1.53 billion pounds, up 8.5 percent above last year's revised production of 1.41 billion pounds. Estimated bearing acreage for 2010 is 740,000 acres.

Despite a variable spring, weather in 2010 had few negative effects on the developing almond crop. Bee activity was reported as being hampered somewhat by the rain, but the overlap of varieties was excellent.

Nut sets looked good. Acreages in the San Joaquin Valley that experienced frost damage in 2009 show heavy sets this season. High winds resulted in some nut and tree losses, but damage was not significant.

Wet weather increased concerns about fungal infections and rot, but additional sprays have kept the problem in check. A benefit of the cool weather has been low insect pressure. Overall the trees are growing well and the crop is developing in good condition.

• Peaches

The 2010 California Freestone peach crop forecast is 365,000 tons, up 5 percent from the 2009 crop.

California experienced an adequate number of chilling hours benefiting the Freestone crop. Bloom started out quick but was slowed due to cool spring temperatures. Lack of warm weather resulted in pollination problems. Hail damage hit various growing areas throughout the spring.

Although the crop has experienced these problems, growers are still expecting a larger crop than last year's freeze-damaged crop. Harvest began during the middle of April with the Super Lady and Snow Angel varieties.

The 2010 California Clingstone peach crop forecast is 400,000 tons, down 15 percent from the 2009 crop. California experienced a more than adequate number of chilling hours for peach tree chilling requirements.

Full bloom on a statewide basis was declared on March 9, six days later than the 2009 full bloom timing. The 2010 bloom was not as strong as last year's bloom and occurred over a longer period. Rain, and colder than normal spring temperatures, have slowed crop development.

Growers are expecting the late varieties to have a lighter than normal fruit set with a wide range of sizes still on the tree. Extra Early and Early varieties appear in better shape, but still lighter than last year's crop. The cool rainy weather has required growers to spray more to control diseases.

• Wheat

The 2010 winter wheat production forecast is 798,000 tons, up 6 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 380,000 resulting in a yield of 2.1 tons per acre.

The wheat-growing season in California has been positive. Adequate moisture was received throughout the growing season to promote good growth in dryland winter wheat. Warm weather has encouraged good growth and strong development of the irrigated crop.

Overall, disease pressure has been moderate this year with some reports of stripe rust received. High winds have caused some lodging recently.

The 2010 durum wheat production forecast is 331,000 tons, down 35 percent from 2009. Harvested acres are estimated at 105,000 with a yield of 3.15 tons per acre.

Durum wheat is progressing normally this season with good quality and few disease issues reported. The wheat crop was nearing harvest in Southern California. There have been some reports of high winds causing lodging, which will make harvesting more difficult. Growers are hoping for yields above normal levels.

Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. The next production forecast will be issued June 9, 2010.

TAGS: Outlook
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