The October 2009 crop production forecast has been released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s California Field Office in Sacramento. The survey, conducted during the last week of September and the first week of October, includes the following commodities.

• Cotton

American Pima cotton production in California is forecast at 330,000 bales, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and down 18 percent from the 2008 crop. Harvested acreage is estimated at 127,000 acres resulting in a yield of 1,247 pounds per acre.

Upland cotton is forecast at 218,000 bales, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and down 41 percent from last year. With 70,000 harvested acres, the resulting yield is 1,495 pounds/acre.

As of early October the cotton harvest had begun on early planted fields. Bolls matured and were opening. Other cotton fields continued to be defoliated.

• Grapes

California production of all grape varieties for the 2009 season is forecast at 6.25 million tons, unchanged from the August forecast, and down 4 percent from the 2008 season.

Wine-grape production for California is forecast at 3.4 million tons, up 3 percent from the August forecast, and up 11 percent from last year.

Table grape production is expected at 850,000 tons, unchanged from the August forecast, and down 13 percent from last year.

The California raisin-grape forecast is 2.0 million tons, down 5 percent from the August forecast, and down 20 percent from 2008. Bunch counts were reported stronger than last year. The cooler weather early in the summer was good for berry development.

There have been a few problems in raisin grapes with mildew, bunchrot, and vine mealybug. Water availability was a concern for many growers. Sugar levels and overall quality are looking good.

The 2009 raisin grape crop is smaller than last year, but quality and sugar content are better than the previous year. Harvest is earlier than normal. Drying weather has been excellent.

• Oranges

The 2009-2010 California orange crop is forecast at 110 million cartons, up 13 percent from last season.

California’s Navel orange forecast is 80 million cartons, up 16 percent from the previous season. The 2009-2010 navel crop continued to develop well in size and quality. Picking is expected to begin in late-October, and yields are expected be higher than last year.

California’s Valencia orange forecast is 30.0 million cartons, up 7 percent from last season.

• Other citrus

The grapefruit forecast is 9.4 million cartons, down 16 percent from last season. The lemon forecast is 40 million cartons, down 9 percent from last year. The tangerine and mandarin forecast is 14.0 million cartons, up 4 percent.

• Other crops

Corn for grain production is 630,000 tons, down 32 percent; alfalfa hay forecast is 6.53 million tons, down 2 percent; other hay production is 2.37 million tons, up 9 percent; dry edible bean production is 1.39 million cwt., up 45 percent; rice crop is 46.7 million cwt., up 8 percent from last year; and pecan production forecast is 3.80 million pounds, up 1 percent.

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 Nov. 10, 2009.