The initial forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is calling for a slightly smaller production year for California navel oranges compared to 2018. The forecast is expecting 76 million, 40-pound cartons of production; demonstrating a seven percent decline from last year.
The 2018-2019 season was a bounce-back year for navel oranges, after two consecutive years of comparatively low production. The vast majority of production will be coming from the Central Valley, with an estimated 73 million cartons. Cara Cara production in the Central Valley is forecast at six million cartons.
Survey data indicated a fruit set per tree of 319, below the five-year average of 366. The forecast takes into account conventional as well as organic production and includes all specialty varieties such as Cara Cara and blood oranges. The numbers are based on the results of the 2019-20 Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey, conducted between June 15 and September 1.
Listen to the report below.