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Crop Weather report, June 1

Here is the June 1 California Crop Weather report from the Sacramento field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.


Memorial Day started with high pressure over California. This was a typical weather pattern for late May in the Golden State. Daytime highs in the Central Valley were in the 80s, along the coast the highs were in the 60s, and the desert temperatures were in the 90s to around 113 in Death Valley on Wednesday.

The weather pattern of significance for the week was mountain thunderstorms. Monsoonal moisture from the Gulf of California and an approaching low pressure system created perfect conditions for isolated mountain thunderstorms. Most of the thunderstorm activity was along the Sierra Crest and eastward.

The highest precipitation amounts fell in Yosemite Park in central California with nearly a half inch of rain. Other mountain locations in California had minimal amounts of precipitation fall in the rain buckets.

Field crops

Rice planting was still underway. The last fields were being flooded in Yuba County. Herbicide applications were applied.

Barley continued to mature. Wheat harvest was winding down. Winter forage and other small grains were cut for silage. The third cutting of alfalfa hay continued. Corn planting and weed spraying in fields continued. Early planted corn fields were emerging.

The cotton crop continued to square. Thrips were treated in some cotton fields.

Oats continued to be cut and baled. Safflower continued to grow well. Sweet potato transplanting and hot bed digging continued. The sugarbeet harvest was underway.

Fruit crops

Early varieties of wine grapes were in full bloom along the North Coast with later varieties expected to bloom within a week’s time. Mildew on grapes was a pressing concern throughout the state, so fruit thinning continued. Fungicides were applied on grapes in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV).

Pear fruit set was good along the North Coast, however, cool weather moderated crop growth. Bing cherry harvest continued in the Sacramento Valley. Strawberry harvest began to slow in the SJV but picked up in the Sacramento Valley.

Blueberry and blackberry fruit sets were complete in the SJV, and harvests began to increase. Prune, peach, nectarine, and apricot orchards were thinned, and harvest began in some areas in the Sacramento Valley.

Peaches in the SJV were thinned. Irrigation was widespread for all fruit crops throughout the SJV. Olives were irrigated and treated for weed control. Pomegranates and figs continued to develop.

Widely fluctuating temperature conditions impacted the citrus crop in the SJV, causing June fruit drop in some Navel orange orchards. Excessive drying due to over maturity in the larger size classes caused some decline as the navel season began to conclude. Valencia orange, lemon, and grapefruit harvests continued.

Avocado fruit set development was almost complete for spring varieties.

Nut crops

Nutlets hardened well throughout most of the state. Almonds, pistachio, walnut, and pecan orchards were irrigated. Herbicides and Insecticides were applied to walnuts and pistachios.

Vegetable crops

Harvests of vegetables for farmers’ markets continued in Sutter County. Ground preparation and other maintenance activities were also taking place there. Onions were treated for thrips and aphids, while weed treatments were applied to sweet corn. Sweet corn planting continued in Stanislaus County, where squash was being harvested on the West side.

Imperial County’s onion and melon harvests were slowing down. Fresno County’s tomatoes were ripening in the warm weather, with about a month left until harvest. Carrots and onions were treated with fungicide, and herbicide was applied to garlic. Broccoli for seed looked good and was watched closely for bug infestation.

The carrot harvest progressed in Kern County and organic vegetables, lettuce, and Swiss chard were growing in the valley. The harvest of spring radicchio was completed in Merced County, where fresh and processing tomato fields continued to be planted.

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