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California Crop Weather: citrus industry in harvest mode

California Crop Weather: citrus industry in harvest mode
Citrus packinghouses screen received fruit for frost damage as temperatures dropped into the upper 20s in the early morning hours; Planted small grain fields progressed well but needed precipitation to sustain growth; Harvested walnut groves were irrigated, pruned, and sprayed. 

The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released Jan. 3, 2012.


A persistent, high pressure ridge was the dominant feature of the week’s weather. The ridge shielded Southern California completely from several weather systems which hit the Pacific Northwest during the week of Dec. 26. It reduced the effects of these storms to Northern California considerably.

The first of these systems spread light showers to the northern coast on Tuesday, but none of the moisture reached interior Northern California. 

The next systems brought moderate to heavy rains to the North Coast Wednesday through Friday. The strongest brought almost a third of an inch of rain to extreme northern portions of the Sacramento Valley. Some North Coast stations reported rainfall totals between one and two inches.

In Southern California, a moderately strong offshore flow brought very dry and mild conditions. Humidity readings below 10 percent were not unusual in the Southland with temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

Sunday was dry and mild for the entire state with above normal temperatures reported statewide.

Field crops

Late planting in winter wheat, oats,and other small grain fields occurred in hopes of wetter weather. Planted fields progressed well but needed some precipitation to sustain growth. 

Some producers irrigated crops for better progress. Early planted acres started to head. Weed spraying in small grain fields continued.

Fruit crops

The persimmon andkiwi harvests were complete. Pineapple quinces, figs, and apples were harvested. The pomegranate harvest was wrapping up. 

The table grape harvest was complete. The wine grape harvest was complete; grapevines were dormant and pruning began. 

Heavy frost finished defoliating trees and vines making pruning easier.

Frost was a concern for citrus growers as temperatures dropped into the upper 20s in the early morning hours. Packinghouses screened received fruit for frost damage.

The Satsuma mandarin harvest continued. The Owari and Clementine tangerine harvest continued. The Navel orange harvest picked up as internal maturity continued to improve. The Cara Cara orange and lemon harvests continued. The Oro Blanco and Melogold grapefruit harvests were winding down. The pummelo harvest picked up.

Nut crops

The walnut harvest was complete. Finished walnut groves were irrigated, pruned, and sprayed.

Almondstockpiles were hulled. The pistachio harvest was over.

Vegetable crops

In Kern County, carrots were harvested while fields were stale bedded for spring planting.

Tulare County reported strawberry field activities including bedding the ground and plastic put down in preparation for soil fumigation. 

Fresno County reported winter carrots were harvested. The broccoli harvest was going strong. Lettuce was prepared for harvest. 

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