California's 2008 upland cotton production is estimated at 370,000 480-pound bales as of Jan. 1, a decrease of 43 percent from last year, according to the Sacramento, Calif., field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

This is based on 117,000 acres for harvest. The yield was 1,518 pounds per acre. Harvest was complete by mid-December.

California’s s 2008 American Pima cotton production is estimated at 415,000 480-pound bales, 48 percent below last year's crop. The yield of 1,319 pounds is 11 percent below 2007.

U.S. upland cotton production is estimated at 12.6 million 480-pound bales, down 4 percent from the Dec. 1 forecast and down 31 percent from last year. The U.S. yield for upland cotton is estimated at 799 pounds per acre, down 34 pounds from last month and down 65 pounds from last year’s record high.

The harvested area at 7.56 million acres is down slightly from last month and down 26 percent from last year. Upland planted area, estimated at 9.3 million acres, is down 12 percent from last year.

U.S. American Pima cotton producers planted 174,000 acres, down 40 percent from last year. Harvested area at 169,000 acres is down 41 percent from last year. Production is estimated at 447,000 480-pound bales, up 1 percent from December, but down 48 percent from last year’s record high. The U.S. yield is estimated at 1,265 pounds per acre, up 11 pounds from December, but down 154 pounds from last year.

California hay stocks

Stocks of all hay on California farms totaled 2.38 million tons as of Dec. 1, 2008. This was 26 percent above the 1.89 million tons on hand a year earlier.

As of last December, U.S. hay stocks on farms totaled 104 million tons, down less than 1 percent from a year ago.

California winter and durum wheat seeding

California farmers are expected to seed 670,000 acres to winter wheat for the 2009 crop, 3 percent above last year. Seeding was completed by the end of December. The winter wheat crop condition at the end of November was rated at 65 percent good to excellent, compared with 44 percent last year.

The U.S. winter wheat seeded area for 2009 is estimated at 42.1 million acres, down 9 percent from 2008. Seeding began last August behind the 5-year average pace and remained behind until mid-November due to wet weather and delayed row crop harvest.

Durum wheat seedings in Arizona and California for 2009 harvest are estimated at 270,000 acres. This total is down 16 percent from 2008. Planting is ongoing in California's San Joaquin and Imperial valleys plus western Arizona. Planted acreage is down 40,000 acres in Arizona and down 10,000 acres in California. No major problems with the crop have been reported.

California rice crop down 1 percent

California farmers produced 43 million cwt. of rice in 2008, 1 percent below the 43.7 million cwt. produced last year. The 2008 crop included 621 thousand cwt. of long grain rice, 3 percent below the 639 thousand cwt. produced in 2007.

Medium grain production totaled 39.2 million cwt., less than 1 percent above 2007. Short grain production was 3.25 million cwt., 19 percent below the previous year. The overall yield of 8,320 pounds per acre was 120 pounds above 2007.

U.S. rice production in 2008 is estimated at 204 million cwt., up slightly from the previous forecast and up 3 percent from 2007. Planted area is estimated at 3 million acres, up 8 percent from 2007. The area for harvest at 2.98 million acres is up 2 percent from the previous forecast, and up 8 percent from the previous crop year.

The average yield for all U.S. rice is estimated at 6,846 pounds per acre, down 113 pounds from the previous forecast and 373 pounds below the 2007 record high yield of 7,219 pounds per acre.

California Dec. 1 rough rice stocks

On Dec. 1, California rough rice stocks in all positions totaled 35.8 million cwt., 6 percent below last year. Off-farm stocks including stocks at mills, elevators, warehouses, ports, and in transit totaled 33.1 million cwt. of the total rough rice stored. Stocks being stored on farms accounted for 2.73 million cwt.

California grain stocks

Stocks of wheat in California on Dec. 1, 2008, totaled 507,000 tons, 50 percent above the 338,000 tons on hand a year earlier. U.S. stocks of all wheat totaled 42.7 million tons, 26 percent above last year.

Barley stocks in California on Dec. 1, 2008, totaled 23.3 thousand tons, 31 percent above a year earlier. U.S. barley stocks, at 4.15 million tons, were 27 percent above the Dec. 1, 2007 total.

Off-farm stocks of corn in California totaled 323,000 tons on Dec. 1, 2008, 14 percent below a year earlier. U.S. stocks of corn in all positions totaled 282 million tons.

California field crop prices – Dec. 2007

Prices received by California farmers at mid-December 2007 were above November for all potatoes. Winter potatoes remained unchanged. Prices for fall potatoes, all types of hay, and cottonseed were below November.

Mid-December prices for dry edible beans were not published due to possible disclosure of individual operations. There was insufficient data to establish a mid-December price for wheat, oats, barley, and Upland cotton.

Prices were above a year earlier for all potatoes, winter potatoes, fall potatoes, and all types of hay.

California fall potato production, Jan. 1 stocks

California’s fall potato stocks were estimated at 1.5 million cwt., as of Jan. 1, 2009, 6 percent below last year. The amount in storage on Jan. 1 represents 38 percent of the production, compared to 42 percent a year ago.

California winter potato production

California’s 2009 winter potato production is forecast at 1.89 million cwt., down 25 percent from last year and 16 percent below 2007. The harvested area in California is forecast at 9,000 acres, down 18 percent from 2008. Yield is expected to average 210 cwt. per acre, 20 cwt. below last year. If realized, this will be California’s lowest winter potato yield since 1993. A light tuber set for this year’s crop has led to lower yield expectations.

California sweet potato production

California sweet potato production for 2008 is estimated at 4.28 million cwt., less than 1 percent above last year’s crop. Harvested acres are estimated at 14.5 thousand acres, 9 percent above 2007. The yield of 295 cwt. per acre is 8 percent below the record high yield of 320 cwt. per acre set in 2007.

Nationally, 2008 sweet potato production is estimated at 18.3 million cwt., up 1 percent from last season and 12 percent above 2006. Growers harvested 97,000 acres, down 1 percent from last year. Yield per acre at 189 cwt. is up 3 cwt. from last year and is a new record high, NASS says.