January 27, 2010

2 Min Read

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


The week was very wet across California with active Pacific storm systems pushing into the state nearly every day. Southern California experienced localized flooding and mudslides, while most of the northern and central portions were able to handle the rains without major problems.

Southern areas, including the deserts, Inland Empire, and Imperial Valley, received significant rains during the early and middle portion of the week.

California snowpack increased markedly across the high mountain areas, especially the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades. Associated with the storm pattern were strong winds that developed across mainly northern California during the middle of the week. Wind gusts for some coastal areas, Delta, and Sacramento Valley exceeded 60 miles per hour with some downed trees.

Field crops

Heavy rainfall continued last week which stalled field operations. Low lying fields were underwater with erosion occurring on some row crop fields. Herbicide applications for wheat and alfalfa were suspended until field conditions improve.

Rainfall continued to benefit dryland oats and grain crops. Lodging occurred in some grain fields due to the high winds coupled with some storms.

Fruit crops

Most maintenance work in vineyards and orchards was suspended or slowed due to heavy rains and strong winds throughout central and southern California.

Picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, grapefruit, and lemons also slowed significantly due to the storm moving through the Central Valley and desert region. Normal maintenance activities in vineyards and orchards, as well as normal picking in citrus groves, will resume when the ground dries.

Nut crops

Orchard work, including pruning and spraying, was suspended or slowed due to heavy rains. Some fallen almond trees were reported due to rains and strong gusts.

Vegetable crops

Wet weather permitted little field activity for vegetables across California. Ground preparation continued in Sutter County. In Imperial County, the produce harvest was stalled due to the heavy clay content of the soil.

Rain in Fresno County promoted growth in winter vegetables, especially for the emerging onion crop. Squash, greenhouse cucumbers, and winter cauliflower in Tulare Country were harvested.

In Kern County, onions, carrots, and specialty lettuce grew. Some carrots were harvested. The radicchio harvest in Merced County progressed.

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