The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture released its California Vegetable Review.

Fall fresh market vegetable and melon acreage:

Broccoli

California's area for fall harvest is forecast at 28,000 acres, unchanged from 2007. Harvest of the fall crop is underway and is reported to range between very good to excellent condition. Production volume is expected to remain strong throughout the growing season.

Cantaloupe

California producers expect to harvest 8,100 acres, 1 percent below last year. Ideal temperatures benefitted the melon crop. No major insect or disease problems have been reported. Nationally, fall cantaloupe area for harvest is forecast at 12,100 acres, unchanged from 2007.

Carrots

California growers intend to harvest 19,200 acres, up 2 percent from 2007. In California, baby carrots are still in high demand. Harvest is underway and the crop is reported to be in good condition with no unusual disease or insect problems. Nationally, acreage for fresh market harvest is forecast at 19,300 acres, up 1 percent from last year.

Cauliflower

Area for fall harvest in California is forecast at 7,900 acres, down 5 percent from last year. Ideal growing conditions contributed to excellent sizing and crop quality. Harvest is underway with no disease or insect problems reported.

Celery

California's fall area for harvest is forecast at 7,000 acres, down 1 percent from 2007. Growing conditions have been favorable for the early fall celery crop.

Sweet corn

California growers expect to harvest 3,300 acres for the October-December quarter, down 20 percent from last year. The crop is in excellent condition due to favorable weather during the summer and early fall.

Nationally, fresh market area for harvest is forecast at 8,800 acres, up 6 percent from last year. In Florida, during late August, rainfall from Tropical Storm Fay delayed some fieldwork. In early September, some growers delayed planting due to persistent standing water in their fields. By mid-September, fields began to dry out allowing growers to proceed with planting.

Honeydew

California producers intend to harvest 1,500 acres during the October-December quarter, up 25 percent from the previous year. The fall melon crop is progressing well due to ideal temperatures. No major insect or disease problems have been reported.

Nationally, fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 3,500 acres, up 6 percent from last year.

Head lettuce

Lettuce producers in California intend to harvest 30,000 acres, 9 percent below 2007. Early planted lettuce fields have begun to emerge and fields were being fertilized and treated to control insects.

Tomatoes

Fresh market tomato growers in California expect to harvest 11,500 acres through the October-December period, 5 percent above a year ago. Harvesting of fall tomatoes was delayed in Fresno County due to water shortages. Nationally, fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 19,000 acres, up 3 percent from 2007.

Summer onions

California's 2008 summer storage onion production is estimated at 12.9 million cwt., 1 percent below 2007. Harvested area is expected to be 30,000 acres, 2 percent less than last year.

The yield is estimated at 430 cwt. per acre, 5 cwt. above the previous year. Planting of California's storage onion crop was on schedule. However, cool temperatures during the growing season delayed harvest. No major disease problems were reported.

Nationally, summer storage onion production is forecast at 51.5 million cwt., down 10 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 99,620 acres, down 8 percent from 2007. The yield, at 517 cwt. per acre, is down 15 cwt. from last year.