Thursday, April 9, 2015

NASS still bullish on Calif. navel orange crop

The federal agency that keeps track of crop production isn't backing down from its prediction of a bigger navel orange crop this season, which had industry representatives raising their eyebrows last fall.

Here are the latest updated fruit crop estimates from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento:
The USDA-NASS, California Field Office today released the crop production forecast for April. The latest survey, conducted during the last week of March and the first week of April, included the following commodities:

Navel Oranges -- The 2014-15 Navel orange forecast is 80.0 million cartons, unchanged from January, but up 3 percent from last season. The Navel orange harvest remains active in California.

Valencia Oranges -- The 2014-15 Valencia orange forecast is 20.0 million cartons, unchanged from the March objective measurement forecast, but down 7 percent from last season. The Valencia orange crop continued to develop. The harvest is expected to pick up in the coming months.

Grapefruit -- The 2014-15 California grapefruit forecast is 7.6 million cartons, down 5 percent from the January forecast and down 1 percent from last season’s crop.

Lemons -- The 2014-15 lemon forecast is 40.0 million cartons, unchanged from the January forecast and up 6 percent from last season. In California, lemon harvest was progressing at a steady pace.

Tangerines -- The 2014-15 tangerine forecast is 32.0 million cartons, up 3 percent from the January forecast and up 9 percent from last season. Mandarins were being packed in both the Central Valley and Fillmore areas.

Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. The next production forecast will be issued May 12, 2015.
Even with the drought, it probably wouldn't be too hard to beat last year's navel orange production, though. A serious freeze in the winter of 2013-2014 cost navel orange producers a large portion of their crop and about $260 million in revenue, according to California Citrus Mutual.

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