The January freeze significantly reduced the size of Arizona’s citrus crop, according to the April 1 citrus forecast of the 2006-07 crop by the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Arizona field office.

Arizona's ’06-’07 lemon forecast of 2.5 million boxes, is unchanged from the March forecast but 34 percent below the previous season. Arizona's all orange utilization forecast of 350,000 boxes is unchanged from the previous forecast but 22 percent below the ’05-’06 season.

The Arizona tangerine forecast of 350,000 boxes is down 45 percent from the previous season. The Arizona grapefruit forecast of 100,000 boxes is unchanged from both the previous forecast and last season's final utilization.

NASS said California's all orange forecast of 37 million boxes is unchanged from the March forecast but 39 percent below the final ’05-’06 utilization. A few packing houses were scheduled to start handling Valencia oranges in early April.

The U.S. all orange forecast for the ’06-’07 season is 7.36 million tons, down 1 percent from the March 1 forecast but 18 percent below last season's final utilization.

NASS said Arizona's spring potato production is forecast at 1.05 million cwt, down 10 percent from last year. Growers report a 10 percent decrease in acreage for harvest but expect yield to be unchanged from last year.

email: cblake@farmpress.com