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California Crop Weather: grape harvest nears full throttle

California Crop Weather: grape harvest nears full throttle

California grape update: table grape harvest continues in San Joaquin Valley, wine grape harvest underway in some areas, and raisin grapes continue development; ‘A whole lot of shaking going on’ in Nonpareil almond orchards; Cotton boll set nearly complete - early bolls opening. 

The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released Aug. 29.


The week of Aug. 22 began slightly cooler than normal across the Central Valley of California as an upper level trough off the west coast encouraged marine air to push into the region. This trough supported light precipitation over the northwest coast of California.

A warming trend began Tuesday across the state as the high pressure centered over the central and southwestern U.S. began building its way northwestward. The state remained under a southerly to southwesterly flow aloft which introduced some monsoonal moisture for much of central and northern California during the mid-week.

A few showers developed Wednesday morning and light precipitation reached the ground for the eastern portion of the valley and the Sierra Foothills, as well as the higher terrain for the northern and southern part of the state.

A warming trend persisted toward the end of the week as the high pressure built, and stable flow along the west coast maintained calm and dry flow over most of the state for the rest of the period.

The Delta-influenced and northern coastal regions, as well as parts of Southern California, received traces of precipitation Friday and into the weekend. For the rest of California, hot and dry temperatures remained during the weekend, keeping temperatures near-to-above normal for this time of year. Regions in Southern and Northern California reached over 100 degrees.

Field crops

Cotton showed good development, bolls were nearly set, and early set bolls started to open. Producers monitored levels of lygus, aphids, and mites.

Rice fields developed well; just over half of the crop was headed. Corn for silage harvest continued.

Alfalfa fields were irrigated between cuttings. Black-eye beans made good developmental progress.

Sunflower rays began to dry and drop in preparation for harvest. Safflower harvest started in Southern California. Garbanzo bean and sugarbeet harvest continued. Garbanzo harvest was ongoing and the beans were treated for leafhoppers.

Fruit crops

The table grape harvest continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) for Summer Royal, Crimson, Princess and Flame Seedless varieties. Harvests for Thompson Seedless and Red Globe varieties began.

The wine grape harvest was underway in some areas while raisin grapes continued development.

The stone fruit harvest continued at a steady pace. Numerous varieties of peaches, nectarines, pluots, and plums were picked and packed.

Apples were harvested in the SJV. The olive crop progressed well. Pear harvest continued. Prune harvest began. Kiwis continued to progress.

Valencia oranges, tangelos, grapefruits, and lemons were packed.  Navel orange groves were fertilized and irrigated.

Nut crops

There was shaking and harvesting of Nonpareil almond varieties as hull splitting continued. Later varieties were prepped for harvest.

Codling moth and husk fly sprays were ongoing in walnut orchards as the crop developed.

Pistachios were running behind last year, but hull split was slowly becoming visible in some orchards. Pecan orchards were irrigated.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported bell pepper and carrot harvests. Tulare County reported harvests of tomatoes, green beans, bell and serrano peppers, and squash. Harvest was fast approaching for beans.

In Fresno County, tomatoes and carrots were harvested as fields were prepared for next year.

Sweet corn was harvested, as were fresh market and processing tomatoes, bell peppers, watermelon, cucumbers, and onions in San Joaquin County.

Sutter County reported field work and ground preparation. Tomatoes were harvested and treated for stinkbug. The vegetable harvest for farmers’ markets continued. 

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