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California Crop Weather report

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


The week of May 31 was dominated by interaction between a powerful tropical moisture plume and a low pressure center over the Gulf of Alaska.

This brought substantial amounts of precipitation to the northwest coast and northern mountains Wednesday through Friday. The moisture plume weakened and moved north into Oregon by the weekend.

A few scattered showers were seen in the interior valley and parts of Southern California throughout the week, but the showers brought little precipitation.

Temperatures began the week slightly below normal in Northern California and near normal elsewhere as a series of weak cold frontal passages pushed from the north.

By the weekend, temperatures rose above normal. Parts of California saw the highest temperatures of the year.

Field crops

Small grain fields continued to mature. Wheat, oat, and barley harvests continued. Dryland grain fields were expected to be harvested this year due to good precipitation throughout the winter and spring. Harvested small grain fields were prepared for corn, cotton, and bean planting in Tulare County.

Earlier planted corn fields received fertilizer side dressing and treatment for weeds. Hay producers worked on second and third cuttings of alfalfa. Cooler temperatures delayed the development of crops pushing back the irrigation schedule. Rice fields were flooded and seeded. Earlier planted rice fields emerged slowly.

Safflower fields developed seed heads. Garbanzo beans developed pods. Some bean fields were harvested in Fresno County.

Fruit crops

In the San Joaquin Valley (SJV), the picking of Valencia oranges continued normally as the Navel orange harvest slowed. The SJV lemon harvest neared completion as normal picking continued along the coast.

The olive bloom concluded with reports of a heavy fruit set. The strawberry and blueberry harvests continued as blackberry picking began in SJV.

Additional sulfur was applied to grape vineyards in the Napa Valley due to ongoing cool weather. Fungicide, herbicide, and fertilizer applications plus irrigation were ongoing in SJV grape vineyards.

The thinning of plum, peach, and nectarine orchards was complete. The harvest of early peach, nectarine, and apricot varieties finished. The cherry harvest continued despite split damage resulting from rain.

Fruit orchards across the California showed good development overall, but were approximately two weeks behind normal development due to ongoing cool temperatures.

Nut crops

Cool temperatures continued to delay development in almond orchards though the trees remained healthy and insect presence was limited. Orchards were sprayed to control mite populations.

Blight and herbicide applications, along with irrigation, continued in walnut orchards. Walnut, pistachio, and pecan nuts sized well. While nut orchards showed healthy development statewide, overall development appeared about two weeks behind schedule due to cool weather.

Vegetable crops

In Siskiyou County, dry onions suffered from a variety of problems related to the cold wet weather. Spring planting advanced in San Joaquin County. The asparagus harvest concluded.

In Fresno County, the watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew crops were planted with some fields flowering. Sweet corn planting continued. Carrots grew nicely. Spring crops of onions and garlic continued to do well.

The spring broccoli and asparagus harvest were completed. The harvest continued for beets, cabbage, cauliflower, choy, chards and kales, cucumbers, daikon, fava, green beans, herbs, mustard greens, gailon, lettuce, spinach, green and red onions, squashes, sweet peas, sugar snap peas, greenhouse tomatoes, and turnips.

The processing tomato harvest was projected two weeks behind normal. Carrots and lettuce were harvested in Kern County. In Merced County, the bell pepper, cantaloupe, honeydew, tomato, sweet potato, and watermelon crops were planted. The radicchio harvest was completed. Parsley harvest continued.

Field work, pre-plant herbicide treatments, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County. Onions were treated for thrips. Weed treatments were applied to sweet corn.

TAGS: Management
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