California navel orange shipments are predicted to be off 7 percent from last seasone.
With harvest expected to begin this month, the USDA predicts California navel shipments will be 76 million (40-pound) cartons, down 7 percent from the previous year.
Of the total navel orange crop in California, the USDA reports 73 million cartons are estimated to be in the central San Joaquin Valley.
Survey data indicated a fruit set per tree of 319, below the 5-year average of 366. The average Sept. 1 diameter was 2.169 inches, about 2 percent below the five-year average of 2.225 inches. The cara cara orange set was 268 with a diameter of 2.185 inches.