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California Crop Weather: Napa County wine grape harvest

California Crop Weather: Napa County wine grape harvest

Increased rain ramps up Napa County wine grape harvest. San Joaquin Valley Navel orange, mandarin harvests underway. California almond, walnut, pistachio harvests almost complete. Fieldwork underway for winter vegetable planting. 

The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif.


The final week of October (Oct .25) included widespread showers across California, the result of a low pressure trough that moved through the region.

Cool and dry conditions followed for most of the state Tuesday as the first system moved into the Great Basin. This led to a dry offshore flow developing across southern California by midweek with mild Santa Ana conditions bringing warm and very dry condition to the southern counties.

In the north, a series of weather disturbances brought cool temperatures and occasional showers throughout the week. Another storm system swept through on Saturday. This brought more rain to the state.

On Sunday, high pressure pushed the last storm out, and brought warmer temperatures to the north.

Field crops

The rice harvest continued despite scattered showers and poor drying conditions the previous week in the Sacramento Valley. Rice straw was chopped and baled as field conditions allowed.

Fall plantings of winter wheat, barley, and other small grains continued along with other field work and tillage. Early-planted fields emerged.

Cotton fields were defoliated and harvested.

Some cut alfalfa and windrowed beans were rained on the previous week though damage was not extensive. The seventh and eighth cuttings of alfalfa took place in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). New alfalfa fields were planted.

Sugar beets were planted in southern California. Corn for silage was harvested. The potato harvest was winding down in northern California.

Fruit crops

The kiwifruit, pomegranate, and fig harvests continued in the Central Valley as the table, wine, and raisin grape harvests slowed due to rain. The wine grape harvest in Napa County was in full swing due to increased precipitation as growers tried to prevent significant fruit rot from occurring.

Strawberries were harvested in Monterey County as nursery plants were shipped from Siskiyou County. Blueberry plants for planting arrived in San Joaquin County.

The SJV Navel orange and mandarin harvests began with mandarins also expected to be picked in Sutter County. The Valencia orange harvest was completed. Limited picking of lemons continued in the Imperial Valley as fruit developed in size.

The SJV olive harvest was ongoing. Post-harvest irrigation and pruning continued in orchards.

Nut crops

The almond harvest was complete in most parts of California; final harvesting was underway in San Joaquin and Merced counties. The SJV walnut harvest was nearly complete as the harvest of late-varieties was ongoing in the Sacramento Valley between the rains. The pistachio harvest wound down with some harvesting in the SJV.

Vegetable crops

Fall vegetable harvests wrapped up across the state as fieldwork was in full swing for winter vegetable planting. Harvests of parsley, cantaloupe, and watermelon were completed in Merced County. Carrots, cabbage, lettuce, and various organic greens were picked in Kern County.

Tulare County’s tomato crop was harvested. Fall plantings for winter vegetables progressed in Fresno County. Lettuce and broccoli stands looked good. Wet weather in Siskiyou County hampered the dehydrator onion harvest. The planting of fall peas was close to complete.

As the ground dried in Colusa County, ground preparation for the 2011 tomato crop took place. In Sutter County, fieldwork continued and ground preparation was ongoing as the processing tomato harvest was finishing up.

The majority of the fresh market and processing tomatoes in San Joaquin County were harvested. Bell peppers, watermelons, squash, and pumpkins were harvested. 

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