The 2007-2008 Valencia orange forecast is 32.0 million (37.5-pound) cartons, 45 percent above last season’s estimated total of 22.0 million cartons.
Objective measurement survey data from the USDA-NASS California field office indicated an average fruit set of 692 oranges per tree in the state of California. Fruit sizes have decreased this year, with an average diameter of 2.523 inches.
This year, Valencia oranges were sampled from 656 groves or blocks. The sample blocks were distributed in proportion to the bearing acres in each county and the year the trees were planted. Two trees were sampled in each selected block. Sampling was done by measuring branches, randomly selecting a branch at that stage, then moving to the next stage and repeating the steps until a terminal branch was selected. All oranges on intermediate and terminal branches were counted. Two separate random counts were taken in each tree. The two counts were mathematically combined to arrive at an estimated total fruit count per tree. Fruit diameter measurements were made on the right quadrant of four trees surrounding the first sampled tree.