The California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) has forecast Valencia orange production down by 14% to 19 million cartons for the 2017-18 season.
This forecast was based on the results of a survey conducted from Jan. 12 to Feb. 23.
Estimated fruit set per tree, fruit diameter, trees per acre, bearing acreage, and oranges per carton were used in the statistical models estimating production.
“The season has had mostly dry weather with occasional periods of cold and even freezing temperatures. Measurements indicated slightly above average fruit size and higher than the previous year fruit set,” the CDFA said.
“Survey data indicated an average fruit set per tree of 524, a 14 percent increase from the previous year but below the five-year average of 590. The average March 1 diameter was 2.585 inches, slightly above the five-year average of 2.536.”
The number of bearing acres has steadily reduced from 47,000 a decade ago to 30,000 this season.