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California Crop Weather: cool weather extends some crops, slows others

California Crop Weather: cool weather extends some crops, slows others
Cool, wet conditions delayed cotton development and increased evidence of insect pressures; Cherry harvest continued but some producers were concerned about rain damage in late-maturing varieties in affected areas; Cooler temperatures delayed development in almond orchards. Tulare County reported vegetables developed slowly due to cooler than normal weather. 

The latest California Crop Weather Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif. Field Office, released May 6.


Winter-like weather continued the first week of June. A cold front entered California on Memorial Day bringing rain to far the North Coast near Eureka. Daytime high temperatures were 10 to 20 degrees below normal throughout the state.

Rain continued Tuesday and Wednesday as far south as the San Francisco region. Precipitation totals ranged from around a quarter of an inch in the valley to a half inch in the mountains. Daytime highs were still very cool for this time of year.

Southern California was dry, but daytime highs were only in the 60s and lower 70s. Thursday was dry with daytime highs still 10 to 20 degrees below normal. By Friday night, another cold front and associated low moved over the State.

Continuous rain fell over most of Northern California for 12 consecutive hours on Saturday, mainly Fresno northward. Southern California remained dry. Daytime highs were below normal the entire week.

On Sunday, thunderstorms occurred near Davis, the foothill region, and mountain regions in the northern part of the state as a cold, closed low entered the state. This weather pattern is very rare for June, usually the Semi-Permanent Pacific High over the ocean keeps all fronts and low pressure systems away from the state in June. Several precipitation records were broken in Northern California.

Field crops

Spring field work continued where weather conditions allowed. Unusual cool weather across California has extended the season for some crops while slowing development for many other crops. Some areas have started chemical applications to combat pest pressure cause by current weather patterns.

Seedbed preparation continues for crops yet to be planted. Delays with bailing and harvesting of small grains continued. Winter forage was harvested for forage.

Alfalfa was cut and baled between precipitation events throughout the state.

Cool and wet conditions delayed the development of cotton and increased evidence of insect pressures was monitored. Sorghum and corn fields were planted and are in various stages of development.

Rice plantings were virtually complete. Almost half of the crop had emerged.

Fruit crops

The Valencia orange and grapefruit harvests continued. The blueberry harvest is in full swing with the crop sold to domestic and international markets.

Strawberry harvest continued across the state while some areas continue stock planting. Cool weather has extended the season and improved the quality of berries in Tulare County. Cherry harvest continued, but some producers were concerned about rain damage of late-maturing varieties in affected areas.

The harvest of apricots, peaches, and nectarines was on-going. Chemical applications were applied to combat pressure caused by current weather patterns.

Nut crops

Cooler temperatures delayed development in almond orchards. Pests were relatively quiet in some orchards while doing significant damages in others. Pesticides and fungicides were applied.

Blight control sprays were ongoing in walnuts. Pesticide sprays were made in pistachio orchards.

Vegetable crops

Tulare County reported vegetables developed slowly due to the cooler than normal weather. Squash and cucumbers were picked and packed locally.

Fresno County reported tomato growth slowing down due to the lack of heat. Dehydrator onions were treated with preventative fungicides.

In Merced County, bell pepper, honeydew, cantaloupe, and tomato planting continued as the asparagus harvest was winding down. San Joaquin County reported asparagus production coming to an end, processing and fresh market tomato transplanting were finished, melons were planted, and onions were weeded.

Siskiyou County reported onions faced a dramatically challenging spring with high winds, extreme cold, and hail and snow making establishment difficult. There will be some replanting on fields blown down or damaged from environmental effects. 

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