California Navel Orange Forecast

Josh McGill California Corner, Crop Forecast

The initial 2023–24 California navel orange forecast is 74 million cartons. This is up 1% from the previous year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) reported. The forecast is based on the results of the 2023–24 navel orange objective measurement survey, which was conducted from June 19 to Sept. 1, 2023.

Navel orange

Estimated fruit set per tree, fruit diameter, trees per acre, bearing acreage and oranges per box were used in the statistical models estimating production. This forecast includes production of conventional, organic and specialty navel oranges (including Cara Cara and Blood orange varieties).

Survey data indicated a fruit set per tree of 335, down 5% from the previous year. The average Sept. 1 diameter was 2.177 inches, up 3% from last year. Bearing acreage is estimated at 110,000, which results in a yield of 673 cartons per acre.

Cara Cara variety production is forecast at 7 million cartons. Survey data indicated a fruit set per tree of 273, down 11% from the previous year and 2% above the five-year average of 267. The average

Sept. 1 diameter was 2.188 inches, slightly above the five-year average of 2.169 inches.

A sample of 785 navel orange groves was randomly selected proportional to county and variety bearing acreage, and 741 of the groves were utilized in this survey. Once a grove was randomly chosen and grower permission was granted, two trees were randomly selected. Of the 741 utilized groves, five were in Madera County, 115 were in Fresno County, 437 were in Tulare County and 169 were in Kern County. Fifteen were in the remaining counties.

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 for the 2023–24 navel orange season here

CDFA also recently announced a forecast for California’s Tango and W. Murcott Afourer mandarins. Learn more here.

Source: CDFA

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