The Pacific Regional Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts an acreage survey of California citrus growers as funding is available. The purpose of this survey is to provide bi-annual citrus acreage, which includes information on new plantings and removals. It is the continuation of a long series of industry-funded Citrus Acreage surveys. Resulting data reveals that the navel orange by far continues to dominate California citrus acreage and production; however, while bearing acreage of navels has been on a decline, mandarins and mandarin hybrids are trending higher than in previous years, with a significant amount of nonbearing acreage in the ground this year. Overall, the industry has seen an increase in citrus acreage over the past couple years in the state.
Users are cautioned that this report consists of two parts:
➢ Table1 shows estimated statewide bearing acreage for the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
➢ Tables 2, 3, and 4 show detailed acreage data by type, variety, and year planted — as voluntarily reported by citrus growers and maintained in NASS’ database.
With perfect information, the estimated statewide bearing acreage and the detailed acreage data would be the same. Generally, this will not be the case for the following reasons:
➢ A voluntary survey of approximately 5,400 citrus growers is unlikely to ever attain 100 percent completeness.
➢ It is difficult for USDA/NASS to detect growers who are planting citrus for the first time.
The major source of the citrus detailed acreage data was a questionnaire mailed to all citrus growers currently in NASS’ database. The mailing was sent in January 2022. The questionnaire contained previously reported crop, variety, and acreage information preprinted. Producers were asked to update the information with new plantings, removals, and any other corrections. New growers were mailed a blank questionnaire. Growers were given about eight weeks to respond by mail. A telephone follow-up was then undertaken. Data collection ended in July 2022.
To arrive at the estimated statewide bearing acreage, the NASS citrus acreage database was compared with pesticide application data maintained by County Agricultural Commissioners and the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
The USDA, NASS Pacific Regional Office sincerely appreciates the many orchard operators, owners, and management firms that provided their acreage information. Funding for the survey was provided by the California Citrus industry.