SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture's Agricultural Statistics Service has released the crop production forecast for November. The survey includes the following commodities:

Corn - Corn for grain production is expected to total 877,800 tons, 15 percent above last year. Harvested acreage of 190,000 is up 12 percent, and the yield forecast of 4.62 tons per acre is up 3 percent from the previous year. Robust growth was reported in many areas during summer as warm weather was conducive for corn growth. Harvesting began in some locations in August.

Cotton - American Pima cotton production in California is forecast at 650,000 bales, up 75 percent from the 2003 crop. The yield forecast is 1,425 pounds per acre. Harvested acreage is estimated at 219,000 acres, 47 percent above last year. Upland cotton production in California is forecast at 1.75 million bales, unchanged from the October forecast, but up 17 percent from the 2003 crop. With harvested acreage at 557,000 acres, the yield is forecast at 1,508 pounds per acre. Cotton harvesting got under way in the San Joaquin Valley the last week in September. Rain, however, arrived in mid-October and delayed harvesting for many growers while they waited for fields to dry out. Other large storms brought concerns that the rain would cause some reduction in yield and quality. It is still too early to know the full impact the rain has had on the crop.

Rice at record

Rice - All rice production in California is forecast at a record-high 50.4 million hundredweight for 2004, up 30 percent from the previous year. The yield forecast is 8,400 pounds per acre, and the harvested acreage is estimated at 600,000. A warm, dry spring created ideal planting conditions. Good weather all season resulted in excellent stands with very little blanking. The rice harvest was nearly complete by Nov. 1.

Sugar Beets - California sugar beet production is forecast at 1.91 million tons, 4 percent above the 2003 crop. Harvested acreage is estimated at 49,000, and the yield forecast is 39 tons per acre. October rains slowed both planting and harvesting of the sugar beet crop. Recently planted fields in the Imperial Valley showed good emergence. Both the sugar content and yields were reported to be very good.

California's Agricultural Statistics Service operates under a cooperative agreement between CDFA and the United States Department of Agriculture. 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 in December 2004.