The latest California fruit and vegetable review from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., field office:
Fall fresh market vegetable and melon acreage
California's area for fall harvest is forecast at 25,500 acres, up 2 percent from 2008. Harvest of the fall crop is underway and the crop is reported to be in good condition.
California producers expect to harvest 4,000 acres, unchanged from last year. Ideal temperatures boosted crop development. Nationally, fall cantaloupe area for harvest is forecast at 13,700 acres, up 19 percent from 2008.
California growers intend to harvest 16,700 acres, 1 percent below 2008. The harvest is underway in the Bakersfield area and the crop is reported to be in good condition. Nationally, acreage for fresh market harvest is forecast at 16,800 acres, down 1 percent from last year.
Area for fall harvest in California is forecast at 8,400 acres, up 6 percent from last year. The harvest is underway with crop quality reported to be in good to excellent condition.
California's fall area for celery harvest is forecast at 7,400 acres, up 6 percent from 2008. Growing conditions have been favorable for the fall celery crop.
• Corn (sweet)
California growers expect to harvest 3,900 acres for the October-December quarter, unchanged from last year. The crop is in good condition due to favorable weather during the summer and early fall.
California producers intend to harvest 2,000 acres of fall honeydew during the October-December quarter, up 5 percent from the previous year. The fall melon crop is progressing well due to ideal temperatures. Nationally, fresh market area for fall harvest is forecast at 3,500 acres, up 21 percent from last year.
• Head lettuce
California’s area for fall harvest is forecast at 31,000 acres, up 11 percent from last year. Early planted lettuce fields have begun to emerge.
Fresh market tomato growers in California expect to harvest 11,500 acres of fall tomatoes through the October-December period, unchanged from a year ago. The quality of fall tomatoes is good despite the summer heat wave.