The California Crop Production Report for August from the Sacramento, Calif., Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service:

Apples

California's 2010 apple crop forecast is 155,000 tons, up 17 percent from 2009. California growers are expecting an average apple crop for the 2010 crop year. Harvest began in late July. Crop development is one to two weeks behind normal.

Cotton

Upland cotton production in California is forecast at 385,000 bales, a 60 percent increase from last year. Harvested acreage is estimated at 124,000 acres resulting in a yield of 1,490 pounds per acre.

California’s American Pima cotton production forecast is 450,000 bales, up 25 percent from last year. Harvested acreage is estimated at 184,000 acres, resulting in a yield of 1,174 pounds per acre.

Grapes

Wine-type variety grape production for California is forecast at 3.5 million tons, unchanged from the July forecast and down 6 percent from the 2009 crop.

The table-type grape production is expected to total 900,000 tons, unchanged from the July forecast and up 3 percent from last year. Table grapes are being harvested.

The California raisin-type variety grape forecast is 1.95 million tons, down from the July forecast and up 1 percent from last year.

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

Mildew has been a problem due to the cooler weather. European grapevine moth remains a concern, mainly because of quarantines.

Olives

California’s 2010 olive crop forecast is 140,000 tons, up 202 percent from last year.

The 2010 California olive crop outlook is looking positive. Growers were anticipating a good crop especially welcome after the last two poor years. Cool weather experienced during the growing season set the bloom and crop development one to two weeks behind normal. Conditions during the critical blooming period were generally good.

In the northern Sacramento Valley, freeze damage from the winter was more evident as the year progressed. The outlook for olives in southern growing areas was reported slightly better than for olives in the north.

Pears

The forecast for the 2010 Bartlett pear crop in California is 185,000 tons, down 7 percent from last year. The 2010 other pear forecast for California is 53,000 thousand tons, down 4 percent from last year. The California Bartlett’s began blooming in March.

Some areas reported minor issues with the bloom due to rain. The cooler than average growing season set fruit development slightly behind normal; and delayed the start of harvest by one to two weeks. The delay in development did not have a negative impact on fruit quality.

Harvest was ongoing in the Sacramento Valley, while Lake and Mendocino counties were close to the start of harvest.

Other California crops

Rice production forecast: 44.7 million cwt., down 6 percent from 2009;

Alfalfa hay: 6.6 million tons, down 5 percent;

Other hay: 2.13 million tons, up 27 percent;

Corn for grain: 764,000 tons, down 5 percent;

Sugar beets: 1.0 million tons, up 13 percent;

Dry beans: 1.43 million cwt., down 5 percent from 2009.

Production forecasts are released monthly and do not reflect final production estimates. Late summer and fall harvests may change these estimates considerably.

The next production forecast will be issued Sept. 10, 2010.