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USDA 2016 Acreage Report

Bruce Kelsey

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Acknowledging that its queries to 4,300 citrus growers do not yield 100% participation and it is difficult to reach new growers USDA's Pacific Regional Office of its statistics service released its annual Citrus Acreage Report of bearing and non-bearing acreage in August.  The classification of Mandarins and Mandarin Hybrids showed the greatest estimated bearing acreage increase in the yearly figures - 46,000 reported for the 2013-14 year, and 52,000 acres in 2014-15.  Including the non-bearing acreage, the total estimate for the category this year is 58,894 acres, verses 46,272 in 2014.  Tulare County's bearing acreage at 16,914 acres, slightly surpasses Kern County's 16,310 acres.  Tangos lead all easy-peel varieties at 12,089 bearing and non-bearing acres, followed by W. Murcott at 10,237 acres and Clemenules at 7,986 acres.  Total Minneola acreage is reported to be 5,654 acres and Cara Cara Navels is 6,291 acres.

In other categories, grapefruit acreage has been slipping for the past two years, from 9,035 total acres to 8,494.  Lemon acreage has risen slightly statewide over the past four years, but is little changed from the 2010 census.  Ventura County leads with 38% of the lemon acreage, but Tulare County - at 15% of the total - has shown a nearly 50% increase in acreage since 2008, with 22% of its total reported as non-bearing.

Navel acreage is showing a steady decline since 2010, slipping from 134,906 acres reported in 2010 to a current total of 120,784.  The Valencia category has shown a 30% decrease in total acreage since the 2010 survey.  Tulare County has 42%, Kern 15%, Ventura 15% and San Diego 12%.  Pummelos, too, have had a steady decline of 28% since 2010, now standing at 1,100 acres statewide.