The USDA-NASS, California Field Office today released the crop production forecast for May. The latest survey, conducted during the last week of April and the first week of May, included the following commodities:
Almonds – The 2015 California almond production (shelled basis) is forecast at 1.85 billion pounds, down 1 percent from the 2014 production of 1.87 billion pounds. Forecasted bearing acreage for 2015 is 890 thousand, resulting in a yield of 2,080 pounds per acre. The 2015 almond bloom began in early February. Nuts are reportedly sizing well with crop development two weeks ahead of normal.
Peaches – The California Freestone crop is forecast at 260,000 tons, down 8 percent from last season. Growers reported full bloom occurred approximately a week ahead of schedule. Fruit set was reported as variable. Growers continued to thin fruit. The California drought situation remained a concern for peach growers. However, some growers expected to offset reduced irrigation district water deliveries by utilizing wells to pump groundwater. The California Clingstone crop is forecast at 306,000 tons, down 8 percent from 2014. Full bloom occurred in early March, slightly earlier than last year. Growers expected production to be good for the Extra Late and Late varieties, but lighter for the Stanislaus, Carson, and Klamath varieties. Growers completed spraying and pruning by the end of March.
Spring Potatoes – The 2015 Spring Potato crop forecast is 9.8 million cwt., down 16 percent from last year. Planted acres are estimated at 24.0 thousand and harvested is estimated at 23.8 thousand acres, resulting in a yield of 410 cwt. per acre. California growers have started harvesting.
Wheat – The 2015 Winter wheat production forecast is 420 thousand tons, down 3 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 200 thousand, resulting in a yield of 2.1 tons per acre. The 2015 Durum wheat production forecast is 157.5 thousand tons, up 200 percent from 2014. Harvested acres are estimated at 50 thousand, with a yield of 3.2 tons per acre. In Southern California, harvest is expected to begin in mid-May.
Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. The next production forecast will be issued June 10, 2015.