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Nearly Steady to Larger Production for Several Major Fruit and Tree Nut Crops in 2018/19.

The 2018/19 marketing year has already begun for most fruit and tree nut crops. Production levels for several of these crops are forecast to be nearly steady to moderately up from last year's levels. U.S. apple production is forecast up only a fraction from a year ago, as output declines in Western States nearly outweigh rebounding output in Central States, primarily Michigan.

Though nearly unchanged from a year ago, the apple crop will be the second-largest in the last 10 years, and the harvest this fall will coincide with the anticipated nearly steady, but still relatively small, pear crop. U.S. grape production is forecast up slightly, with anticipated larger crops in most producing States, including California--the dominant producer.

Peach production in South Carolina and Georgia is expected to rebound from last year's weather-devastated crop levels, driving up overall production. Cranberry production is forecast to be the third-largest on record, with increases expected in most producing States except Massachusetts--the second largest producer.

As the 2017/18 season ended for most citrus fruits, final production estimates put the U.S. citrus crop down 20% from the previous season. Production declined for all citrus fruit except lemons, which grew only less than 1%.

The smaller U.S. orange crop in 2017/18 reflects declines in California and Florida; production in Texas increased significantly. At the same time, grapefruit production also declined in these two States, while production in Texas remained unchanged.

As the 2018/19 season begins, the initial California navel orange forecast has the crop up from last season, with above-average fruit set expected to offset slightly smaller fruit size. Over the past 3 years, 80% of California's orange crop has been made up of navel and miscellaneous varieties, with Valencia oranges accounting for the remaining proportion.

In Florida, however, lingering impacts from damage caused by Hurricane Irma will likely continue to hamper next season's citrus forecast.

Forecast bigger crops of almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts in 2018 will likely boost overall tree nut supplies in the United States during the 2018/19 marketing year. U.S. almond output--which accounts for nearly two-thirds of U.S. tree nut production--is forecast to increase to 2.45 billion pounds in 2018/19, surpassing the 2017/18 record crop of 2.27 billion pounds, if realized. At the same time, walnut and hazelnut outputs are also anticipated to reach new highs.

Downward pressure on almond grower prices due to a larger crop may be eased by lower-than-average beginning stocks. Meanwhile, walnut grower prices will likely receive additional downward pressure from higher-than-average carryover supplies. Almonds and walnuts are produced almost totally in California, while hazelnut production is centered in Oregon. SOURCE:Economic Research Service, 355 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20024-3221

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Author:Whitaker, Anne
Publication:Research Alert Daily
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Oct 22, 2018
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