The USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service’s California Field Office has released its crop production forecast for September. The latest survey, which was conducted during the last week of August and the first week of September, included the following commodities: 

Navel oranges

California’s initial 2010-11 Navel orange forecast is 93.0 million 40-pound cartons. Of the total forecast, 90 million cartons are estimated in the Central Valley.

The forecast is based on the Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey conducted in the Central Valley. Survey data indicated an average fruit set of 418 oranges per tree with a Sept. 1 diameter of 2.14 inches.

Walnuts

The 2010 California walnut production is forecast at a record 510,000 tons, up 17 percent from 437,000 tons in 2009. Bearing acreage is estimated at 227,000, resulting in a yield of 2.25 tons per acre.

The forecast is based on the Walnut Objective Measurement Survey conducted during August.

Survey data indicated an average nut set of 1,690 per tree, up 11 percent from 2009's average of 1,523. The San Joaquin Valley set is 1,313, up 5 percent from last year. The Sacramento Valley set is 2,047, up 16 percent from last year. The percentage of sound kernels in-shell was 97.8 percent statewide.

Cotton

Upland cotton production in California is forecast at 390,000 bales, up 62.5 percent from the 2009 crop, and up 1 percent above the Aug. 1 forecast.

Harvested acreage is estimated at 123,000, down 1 percent from the previous forecast. Yield is forecast at 1,522 pounds per acre, up 2 percent from last month.

The forecast for American Pima cotton production, carried forward from last month, is 450,000 bales, up 25 percent from the 2009 crop. Harvested acreage is estimated at 184,000. Yield is forecast at 1,174 pounds per acre.

Rice

All rice production in California for 2010 is forecast at 44.1 million cwt., down 8 percent from the previous year. The yield forecast is 7,800 pounds per acre, down 4 percent from the Aug. 1 forecast. Planted and harvested acreages are estimated at 569,000 and 566,000 acres, respectively.

As of Sept. 1, approximately 90 percent of the rice acres had headed. Harvest is expected to begin in a couple of weeks.

Corn

Corn for grain production in California for 2010 is forecast at 764,000 tons, down 5 percent from last year’s crop, and unchanged from the August forecast.

With harvested acreage estimated at 140,000 acres, the yield is 5.46 tons per acre. Compared to the 2009 crop year, harvested acreage is down 12.5 percent, and yield is up 8 percent.

Sugar beets

The 2010 California sugar beet production forecast is for 1.00 million tons, unchanged from the August forecast and up 13 percent from last season. Harvested acreage remains unchanged from last month with 25,000 acres, resulting in a yield of 40.0 tons per acre.