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California Crop Weather: rain delays some crop harvests

California Crop Weather: rain delays some crop harvests

The California almond harvest remained strong as growers reported above normal volumes due to heavy crop set. The San Joaquin Valley raisin grape harvest progressed smoothly. Cotton harvest was underway though rain knocked some cotton out of the bolls to the ground. 

The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released Oct. 11, 2011.


An unseasonably strong low pressure system spread clouds and precipitation into California during the first part of the week of Oct. 3. Coming from the northern Pacific, this system began spreading moderate to heavy rain across the North Coast on Monday.

The system spread across Northern California bringing moderate to heavy rainfall on Tuesday, and then spread into Southern California where heavy rains were reported Wednesday. Light showers persisted across the North into Thursday while the southern counties dried out.

High pressure began to build over California by late Thursday resulting in clearing skies. Dry and mild weather continued through the rest of the week under the high pressure ridge.

Temperatures through the week remained below normal for much of the state with some warming by the end of the week.

Field crops

The harvest of crops slowed due to precipitation. Cotton defoliant was applied. Harvest was reported underway though there was some concern that rain knocked cotton out of the bolls to the ground.

The rice harvest continued. Cotton and rice crop conditions remained mostly good to excellent.

Black-eye beans were harvested and laid out to dry. Corn silage harvest was nearing the end while the sorghum for silage harvest began. Wheat ground preparation and fall planting of wheat continued.

Fruit crops

The peach, nectarine, and plum harvests were nearly complete. Pruning and late season fertilizer applications began in orchards.

The table grape harvest continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) with the main varieties harvested including Red Globe, Summer Royal, Crimson, Flame Seedless, Christmas Rose, and Autumn King. 

The harvest of wine grapes continued. 

The SJV raisin grape harvest progressed smoothly. Some late raisin crop got caught on the ground with this week’s rain. Wine grape growers in Napa were also concerned about the recent rains as many grapes were still in the field. 

Pineapple quinces, figs, and apples were harvested. The kiwi harvest began. Pomegranates showed nice color, but maturity had not been reached for harvest in most orchards.

The olive harvest began in Tulare County. Pear harvest slowed.

Citrus grove maintenance continued with irrigation and treatment of citrus pests. Lemons and Star Ruby grapefruit were picked. Navel orange growers expected a late start to the harvest season due to poor internal maturity. Growers in Tulare County expected harvest to begin near the end of the month.

Nut crops

The almond harvest remained strong. Growers reported above normal volumes due to heavy crop set. The walnut harvest was in full swing in many parts of the state. The pistachio harvest accelerated. 

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported carrot harvest. Late summer vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants were harvested for local farmers markets in Tulare County.

Fresno County reported dehydrator onions harvested while the fresh onion and garlic harvests were winding down. Sweet corn grew well and was harvested and fields were treated for worms. 

The harvests of carrots, bell peppers, fresh market tomatoes, and cucumbers continued. Fall broccoli fields were planted. Fall lettuce grew nicely and beds were weeded. The large-sized watermelon crop harvest was drawing down while the baby watermelon harvest had concluded. The cantaloupe and honeydew melon harvests were winding down.

Summer vegetables including beets, bittermelon, chards, choys, eggplant, herbs, kales, lemon grass, chile peppers, tomatillos, squash, and zucchini were harvested. Farmers applied herbicides and fungicides to crops.

In Merced County, the cantaloupe, honeydew, tomato, bell pepper, and watermelon harvests continued while radicchio planting continued.

San Joaquin County reported harvests of processing and fresh market tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. The watermelon harvest was winding down. Field work and ground preparation continued.

The fresh melon harvest continued as the processing tomato harvest was concluding in Sutter County. Siskiyou County reported the continued harvest of dehydrator onions. 

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