FRESNO, Calif. — After a year of heavy volume, California growers expect a lighter season for lemons.

Though an official crop estimate is not available yet for lemons, Joel Nelsen, president of California Citrus Mutual, Exeter, said lighter crops usually follow years with heavier volumes.

Lemon harvesting will begin in October in the San Joaquin Valley and move to the Coachella Valley, retuning in early spring to the coastal regions in Ventura County.

Jeff Olsen, vice president of The Chuck Olsen Co., Visalia, said while it is too early to predict volume the crop is looking good so far and will start packing lemons in September through the end of the year.

The company has a new agreement with a coastal district grower-shipper for lemons, Olsen said, and those lemons will pack under the Stage Coach and Wagon Train labels.

Alex Marriott, sales manager for Wildwood Produce Sales Inc., Kingsburg, said volume for lemons would be around 500,000 cartons, with picking continuing year-round through the state.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, f.o.b.s for 75s of lemons from California sold for $31.48-32.98 on Aug. 10. Prices for other packs of lemons sold for $17.48-35.50.