October 29, 2009

3 Min Read

The latest California crop weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., field office:

• Weather

Monday began with the remains of a low pressure system exiting the area. Precipitation fell in the form of scattered light rain showers as far south as Fresno. Several inches of snow fell above 6,500 feet in elevation in the Sierras as far south as Yosemite.

Mid week brought another system into the Pacific Northwest that just clipped the far north coast of California. This brought light rain as far down as Eureka and fog to the Central Valley of California.

High pressure dominated the remainder of the week bringing clear skies, crisp mornings, and slightly above normal maximum temperatures statewide.

• Field crops

Harvested fields were prepared for winter grain planting. Planted winter wheat and barley benefitted from the latest rainfall.

Cotton was at various stages of harvest with bolls defoliated and harvest taking place in most areas. Corn, milo, and other grain crops were mostly harvested. Damage from the recent storms was not enough to affect the plants’ ability to be harvested. Sunflower harvest continued in Sutter County.

Alfalfa was cut and baled where not affected by rain. Dry bean harvest continued in Merced County with some fields baled for straw.

Broccoli for seed was planted in Fresno County. Producers started planting seed onion crops in San Joaquin County. Rice harvest approached completion.

• Fruit crops

Grape growers in the Central Valley and North Coast were checking for mold and other damage caused by the storm. The grape harvest in the Central Valley was nearly complete with minor picking ongoing in table grape vineyards.

The kiwi and apple harvests continued throughout the Central Valley. The peach, plum, and nectarine harvests were essentially finished. Wonderful pomegranates were picked. Fall strawberries continued to be picked in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) while the Satsuma mandarin harvest also continued.

The SJV Valencia orange harvest neared completion, and navel oranges continued to develop in size. The lemon harvest continued in the desert region.

Orchard activity was hindered due to many orchard floors still being wet from earlier storms. Normal spraying and maintenance continued in orchards and vineyards, which included some fall fertilizer applications for fruit trees.

• Nut crops

The walnut harvest resumed after orchards recovered from the storm in the Sacramento Valley. The almond harvest was nearly complete as the walnut harvest continued to near completion in the Central Valley.

The majority of pistachios have been harvested in the Central Valley. Orchard activity has been slowed due to wet orchard floors.

• Vegetable crops

Basil, fresh market tomatoes, and bell peppers were harvested in Merced County. The processing tomato harvest was winding down, while the harvests of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons were completed.

Radicchio planting finished and worm sprays were applied to tomato fields. The last of the squash and vine cucumbers were picked in Tulare County. Broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach were developing well.

Head lettuce production slowed in Monterey County. Kern County’s fields were stale bedded for early spring planting and carrots were still being harvested.

In San Joaquin County, the fall harvest was slowing down and the last of the canning tomatoes were harvested along with some bell peppers. Green tomatoes were being picked.

Fresno County’s carrots were irrigated, fertilized, and treated with herbicides. Winter lettuce and broccoli progressed normally.

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