The National Agricultural Statistics Service has released its crop production forecast for October.

Cotton

American Pima cotton production in California is forecast at 420,000 bales, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and down 47 percent from the 2007 crop. Harvested acreage is estimated at 151,000 acres, resulting in a yield of 1,335 pounds per acre.

Upland cotton is forecast at 380,000 bales, down 3 percent from last month’s forecast, and down 42 percent from last year. With harvested acreage of 117,000 acres, the resulting yield is 1,559 pounds per acre. Harvest was underway for some California cotton growers. Defoliation is taking place in most parts of the state.

Recent weather conditions have been good for the cotton crop. If the good weather continues, harvest should advance at a good pace. Lygus infestations have delayed the Pima crop development.

Grapes

Production of all grape varieties for the 2008 season is forecast at 6.43 million tons, up less than 1 percent from the August forecast, and up 4 percent from last season.

Wine-type variety grape production for California is forecast at 3.40 million tons, unchanged from the August forecast, but up 3 percent from last year.

The table-type grape production is expected to total 830,000 tons, up 4 percent from the August forecast, and up 5 percent from last year.

The California raisin-type variety grape forecast is 2.20 million tons, unchanged from the August forecast, but up 3 percent from 2007.

Wine grapes were most affected by the April frost, but a warm summer with no precipitation was positive. While small berry and bunch sizes are common in some regions, growers have generally reported higher yield expectations than earlier in the season.

Wine grape quality in Fresno County has been good. Harvest of Thompson Seedless and table grapes for fresh market was complete in the Coachella Valley. The majority of grapes for raisin production were already boxed or rolled in the Fresno area; a wide range of qualities was reported.

Oranges

The 2008-2009 California orange crop is forecast at 88.0 million cartons, down 32 percent from last season. California’s Navel orange forecast is 64.0 million cartons, down 34 percent from the previous season.

Packing sheds are preparing for the new Navel season, which is expected to begin by the middle of October. California’s Valencia orange forecast is 24.0 million cartons, down 25 percent from last season. Most growers reported expected yields lower than the 2007-2008 crop.

Other crops

The grapefruit forecast is 11.0 million cartons, down 4 percent from last season; lemon forecast is 38.0 million cartons, up 12 percent from last year; tangerine and mandarin forecast is 12.6 million cartons, up 11 percent; pecan production forecast is 4.00 million pounds, down 9 percent.

The corn for grain production is 1.08 million tons, up 8 percent; alfalfa hay forecast is 6.75 million tons, down 5 percent; other hay production is 2.24 million tons, down 2 percent; dry edible bean production is 1.07 million cwt., down 12 percent; and the rice crop is 41.9 million cwt., down 4 percent from last year.

Production forecasts are released on a monthly basis and do not reflect final production estimates. Late summer and fall harvests may change these estimates considerably. The next production forecast will be issued on Nov. 10, 2008.