Lettuce cuttings have just got underway in the Huron district on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley, while Salinas Valley lettuce shipments will continue for a few more weeks….Meanwhile, a double digit increase in navel shipments is forecast for California oranges.
In fact, Salinas lettuce is expected to continue until mid November. Mid November also is when initial lettuce shipments will get underway from the desert areas of California and Arizona, within a week of Thanksgiving (November 22nd).
The Nunes Co. of Salinas reports there has been an oversupply of lettuce and organic vegetables this past summer.
Church Bros. LLC of Salinas expects reduced lettuce shipments in late October until Huron moves into volume.
Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $7800 to New York City.
California navel orange shipments for the 2018-19 season are forecast to be 11 percent larger than last season, rebounding from a short crop a year ago.
The initial 2018-19 navel orange forecast from the USDA and the California Department of Food and Agriculture is 80 million cartons, up 11 percent from the previous year. Government survey data shows a statewide fruit set per tree of 426, well above the five-year average of 333.
Of the total navel orange forecast, 77 million cartons are estimated to be in the Central Valley, according to the forecast.
Central San Joaquin Valley citrus – grossing about $5100 to Chicago.
While the forecast for increase navel shipments is good news, there are some concerns about declining navel orange acres in California.
Navel orange bearing acreage in California’s Central Valley has dropped from a peak of about 135,000 acres in 2009 to just 113,000 acres for 2018-19, according to the California Citrus Mutual of Exeter, CA.
Inexpensive Southern Hemisphere imports have arrived early and stayed late, squeezing returns for California growers and contributing to a long-term decline in acreage.
While this year’s California navel crop will be higher than the short crop of a year ago, there is continuing concern about long-term acreage declines related to imports.