The initial 2022–23 California navel orange forecast is for 76 million cartons, up 19% from the previous year. Of the total navel orange forecast, 73 million cartons are estimated to be in the Central Valley. Cara Cara variety navel orange production in the Central Valley is forecast at 8 million cartons.
The Sept. 12 forecast was issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, cooperating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The forecast is based on the results of the 2022–23 Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey, which was conducted from June 17 to Sept. 1, 2022. Estimated fruit set per tree, fruit diameter, trees per acre, bearing acreage and oranges per box were used in the statistical models estimating production.
Survey data indicated a fruit set per tree of 351, up 47% from the previous year and well above the five-year average of 315. The average Sept. 1 diameter was 2.106 inches, below the five-year average of 2.194 inches. The Cara Cara orange set was 307 with a diameter of 2.147 inches.
California has 108,000 bearing acres of navel oranges, with an average of 138 trees per acre.
A sample of 785 navel orange groves was randomly selected proportional to county and variety bearing acreage, and 717 of the groves were utilized in the survey. Once a grove was randomly chosen and grower permission was granted, two trees were randomly selected. The navel orange sample included conventional, organic, Cara Cara and Blood orange groves.
A Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey has been conducted in the Central Valley every year since the 1984–85 crop year, except for the 1991–92 season due to a lack of funding.
See the full report here.
Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture
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