The following California fresh market vegetable and melon acreage reports are furnished by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Broccoli: California's area for fall harvest is forecast at 31,600 acres, 4 percent above last year and 13 percent more than 2003.
Conditions have been favorable for this season's broccoli crop. The planting season began under good conditions, but recent hot temperatures have caused some bolting.
Cantaloupe: California producers expect to harvest 4,800 acres, 45 percent above last year. The crop is progressing well with no major insect or disease problems reported. Nationally, fall cantaloupe acreage for harvest is forecast at 12,300 acres, up 45 percent from 2004 and 46 percent above two years ago.
Carrots: California growers intend to harvest 16,000 acres, up 20 percent from 2004. Cooler California weather this fall is providing excellent growing conditions for the carrot crop. Nationally, acreage for fresh market harvest is forecast at 16,200 acres, up 20 percent from last year and 10 percent above 2003.
Cauliflower: Area for fall harvest in California is forecast at 9,600 acres, up 7 percent from both last year and 2003. California's fall crop development is mostly good with minor quality issues reported such as yellowing, mold spotting, and brown spotting. Weather conditions have been favorable for cauliflower development.
Celery: California's fall area for harvest is forecast at 6,500 acres, down 2 percent from 2004 and 6 percent below 2003. Celery quality was excellent in late summer and early fall with no pest or disease problems reported. Higher fuel prices and hauling food for Hurricane Katrina victims have caused a shortage in trucks to haul celery and other California vegetables to Eastern markets.
Corn, Sweet: California growers expect to harvest 4,800 acres for the October-December quarter, down 2 percent from last year. The crop is in good condition with no insect or disease problems reported. Nationally, fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 10,100 acres, up 4 percent from last year and 2 percent above 2003. In Florida, surplus soil moisture delayed planting in some areas around Lake Okeechobee and Dade County.
Honeydew: California producers intend to harvest 2,400 acres during the October-December quarter, down 4 percent from last year. The California crop is progressing well with no major insect or disease problems reported. Nationally, fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 3,500 acres, up 9 percent from last year, but 10 percent below 2003.
Lettuce, Head: Lettuce producers in California intend to harvest 30,000 acres, 3 percent below 2004. Planting of the fall season crop in California is ongoing. Development is good in the San Joaquin Valley, while growing regions along the Central Coast have reported some quality problems. Nationally, acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 30,600 acres, down 3 percent from both last year and two years ago.
Tomatoes: Fresh market tomato growers in California expect to harvest 9,400 acres through the October-December period, 2 percent below a year ago. California growers reported normal conditions during planting. Harvest is ongoing and fungicides are being applied as needed.
Nationally, fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 21,400 acres, 1 percent below last year and down 4 percent from 2003.
Summer onions: California's 2005 summer storage onion production is estimated at 11.6 million hundredweight, 6 percent below 2004. Harvested area is expected to be 27,500 acres, down 4 percent from last year. The yield is estimated at 420 hundredweight per acre, down 10 hundredweight from the previous year. The California yields are lower due to disease and mildew problems caused by wet conditions. Rain and wet conditions during planting caused delays and reduced acreage planted.
Nationally, summer storage onion production is forecast at 49.7 million hundredweight, down 14 percent from last year. Storage onion harvested area is forecast at 103,620 acres, down 5 percent from 2004. The yield is down 54 hundredweight from last year at 480 hundredweight per acre.