The latest California Crop Production forecast from the Sacramento, Calif., Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service:

Grapes

The California all grape forecast on 789,000 bearing acres is 6.5 million tons, down less than 1 percent from last year’s crop.

The wine grape forecast on 489,000 bearing acres is 3.5 million tons, down 6 percent from last season. The expected table grape production on 84,000 acres is 900,000 tons, up 3 percent from 2009. Raisin grape production on 216,000 bearing acres is forecast at 2.1 million tons, a 9 percent increase from last year’s crop.

The 2010 California grape crop is nearly two weeks behind normal due to the cool and wet spring. Bunch counts were reported higher than last year although development has been slow.

Mildew has been a problem for many growers due to the cooler weather.

The European grapevine moth remains a concern mainly due to quarantines.

Almonds

California's almond production is forecast at 1.65 billion meat pounds, up 17 percent from last year's crop. The forecast is based on 740,000 bearing acres.

Despite a variable spring, weather in 2010 had few negative effects on the coming almond crop. Bee activity was reported hampered some by the rain, but the overlap of varieties was excellent. Nut sets were higher than in 2009; nut weights and measurements were up as well.

High winds resulted in some nut and tree losses but damage was not significant. Wet weather increased concerns about fungal infections and rot, but additional sprays have kept the problem in check. A benefit of the cool weather has been low insect pressure.

Overall, trees are growing well and the crop is developing in good condition.

Peaches

The 2010 California Freestone peach crop forecast is 355,000 tons, down 3 percent from the June forecast, but up 1 percent from the 2009 crop. Bearing acres are estimated at 28,000.

California experienced an adequate number of chilling hours which benefited the Freestone crop. Bloom started quick but then was slowed due to cool spring temperatures. The lack of warm weather resulted in pollination problems. Hail damage hit various growing areas throughout the spring.

Although the crop experienced these problems, growers are still expecting a larger crop than last year's freeze damaged crop. Harvest continued during June with June Flame, Country Sweet, Earlirich, and Rich Lady the major varieties harvested.

The 2010 California Clingstone peach crop forecast is 420,000 tons, up 2 percent from the June forecast, but 10 percent below the 2009 crop. Bearing acres are estimated at 23,000.

California experienced more than adequate number of chilling hours for peach tree chilling requirements. Full bloom on a statewide basis was declared March 9, six days later than the 2009 full bloom timing.

The 2010 bloom was not as strong as last year's bloom and occurred over a longer period. Rain and colder than normal spring temperatures have slowed crop development.

The Late and Extra Late varieties are reported lighter than normal. Harvest began June 23, five days later than last year.

Apricots

California’s apricot production is forecast at 60,000 tons, unchanged from the June forecast, but up slightly from the 2009 crop. Bearing acres are estimated at 11,000.

The California apricot harvest continued throughout the Central and San Joaquin Valleys in July. Weather has been cooperative for the most part which has helped the crop remain in good condition. The 2010 apricot harvest is expected to conclude in late July.

Oranges

The 2009-2010 California Navel orange forecast is 84 million cartons, unchanged from the April forecast, but up 22 percent from the 2008-2009 production. Navel harvest reached its conclusion in early July ending an excellent season. Quality was superb throughout the season. Demand was sufficient to move the high volume crop.

The Valencia orange forecast is 32 million cartons, down 6 percent from the April forecast, but up 33 percent from last season’s crop. The Valencia harvest continued at a slow and steady pace in June, as Navel oranges was the predominant fresh-orange variety.

As the domestic Navel season is completed in July, it is expected that imported Navels entering the market soon after will limit fresh Valencia volume. Quality has been average throughout the season as issues of re-greening have affected the crop.

Lemons

The 2009-2010 California lemon forecast is 40 million cartons, unchanged from the April forecast, but down 5 percent from last season’s crop. The lemon harvest continued in the coastal region as harvesting was completed in the desert region and the Central Valley. Supplies and quality have been good throughout the season.

Grapefruit

The 2009-2010 California grapefruit forecast is 8.4 million cartons, unchanged from the April forecast, but down 13 percent from last season. Harvest of the Star Ruby variety was nearly complete at the end of June.

The coastal regions entered the Marsh Ruby variety season at the end of June. Color and quality are excellent. In late June, Desert Ruby grapefruit was harvested near Coachella.

Other crops

Barley production is forecast at 84,000 tons, up 18 percent from the previous year. Oat production is forecast at 36,000 tons, 29 percent below 2009.

Winter wheat production is expected at 788,000 tons, up 4 percent from 2009. Durum wheat production is forecast at 330,000 tons, 35 percent below 2009.

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 Aug. 11, 2010.