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California Crop Weather: warmer temps spur development

California Crop Weather: warmer temps spur development
Cotton made good progress as temperatures warmed to seasonal levels; Good development underway in grape vineyards across California; Almonds developed well as warmer temperatures led to normal leaf drop; Codling moth, weed control, and fungus treatments were ongoing in walnut orchards. 

The latest California Crop Weather report from the California Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, released June 20.


High pressure brought warm and dry conditions at the start of the week (June 13). A weak frontal system then brushed northern California but brought no significant precipitation. The main result was to create a dry and warm northerly flow across the northern portion of California through mid-week.

The high pressure ridge then backed westward to a position off the coast and was replaced by a weak low pressure trough which developed across the western United States. As a result, southern California experienced an onshore flow which brought cool and moist marine air to that region. The onshore flow also brought cool air to the San Francisco Bay area.

The Central Valley remained seasonably warm with highs mostly in the 80s and 90s. This pattern persisted through the weekend. Little significant precipitation occurred last week, only isolated shower activity in the mountains of northern California, and some coastal drizzle and light rain along the immediate southern California coast.

Field crops

Cotton made good progress as temperatures warmed to seasonal levels. Lygus levels were monitored in cotton fields with follow-up treatments performed as needed.

Winter forages were harvested for silage and small grain crops. Barley, oats, and wheat were drying down. As small grains and forages were harvested, fields were prepared for double-crop corn planting. Dry bean planting continued. Early dry bean varieties developed pods.

Cutting, windrowing, and baling operations continued in alfalfa fields.

Sunflower seed planting continued. Safflower formed seed heads and mustard seed was harvested in Fresno County.

Rice planting was winding down. Field operations, including irrigation, disking, and cultivating, continued with fertilizer and herbicide applications where needed.

Fruit crops

The Valencia orange and grapefruit harvests continued. The blueberry harvest was in full swing with the crop sold to domestic and international markets. The strawberry harvest continued across the state while nurseries had excellent growth in Siskiyou County.

There was good development in grape vineyards across California though the crop is one to two weeks behind due to adverse weather earlier in the season. Sulfur applications continued in vineyards to treat powdery mildew.

Apples grew well. The stone fruit harvest, including peaches, nectarines, and apricots, was ongoing at a slow pace. The cherry harvest neared completion.

Nut crops

Almonds developed well as warmer temperatures led to normal leaf drop, occurring later than usual due to cold and wet weather earlier in the year.

There was good development in pistachio orchards as some replanting was done along with irrigation. Overall pest activity was limited in almond and pistachio orchards.

Codling moth, weed control, and fungus treatments were ongoing in walnut orchards.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported carrot harvest.

Fresno County reported spring onions and garlic treated with herbicides and grew well. Onion harvest had begun. Transplanting of processing and fresh tomatoes continued. Carrot fields emerged and plants took hold.

Bell peppers grew well. The harvests of cucumbers, green beans, beets, the choys, chards and kales, daikon, herbs, green and red onions, spinach, peas, squash, mustards, and turnips continued. Preparation for dehydrator onion harvest continued. Overall vegetable conditions looked good.

San Joaquin County reported onions packed in the field. Siskiyou County reported onions one to three inches tall. 

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