Forecast for California Mandarins

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Crop Forecast, Mandarins


The 2023–24 California forecast for Tango and W. Murcott Afourer mandarins is 21 million 40-pound cartons, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently reported. This forecast is based on the results of the 2023–24 mandarin objective measurement survey, which was conducted from July 1 to Sept. 1, 2023.

This is the first time the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (Pacific Regional Office) has published a production forecast of Tango and W. Murcott Afourer mandarins.

Estimated fruit set per tree, fruit diameter, trees per acre, bearing acreage and mandarins per box were used in the statistical models estimating production. Survey data indicated a fruit set per tree of 593, up 8% from the previous year. The average Sept. 1 diameter was 1.244 inches, down 7% from last year for these varieties. Bearing acreage is estimated at 31,000, which results in a yield of 677 40-pound cartons per acre.

The start of the growing season saw historic amounts of rainfall, including precipitation from Hurricane Hilary, which brought relief from the state’s drought. Continuous storms delayed the start of the season and may have contributed to smaller fruit size compared to last year.

A sample of 300 Tango and W. Murcott Afourer mandarin groves were randomly selected proportional to county and variety bearing acreage, with 280 of these groves utilized in this survey. Once a grove was randomly chosen and grower permission was granted, two trees were randomly selected from each grove.

For each randomly selected tree, its trunk was measured along with all connected branches. A random number table was then used to select a branch, and then all connected branches from the randomly selected branch were measured. This process was repeated until a branch was reached with no significant limbs beyond it. This randomly selected branch, called the terminal branch, was then closely inspected to count all fruit connected to it, as well as all fruit along the path from the trunk to the terminal branch. Since each selected path has a probability of selection associated with it, a probability-based method was then applied to estimate a fruit count for the entire tree.

See the full report here.

Source: CDFA

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