Farm Progress

Favorable weather conditions quickened the pace of field work;Cotton was planted - previously planted cotton fields began leaf development;Early cherries were packed in Southern California while growers prepared for early variety harvest in the Central Valley;Normal nut drop occurred in almond orchards with larger nut drop observed among Butte varieties.

May 10, 2011

3 Min Read

The latest California Crop Weather report from the California Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service released May 9.


Sunny skies were prevalent with near to slightly above normal temperatures as a ridge dominated through Thursday.

Late in the week a low pressure system off the Pacific Northwest coastline brought a drop in temperatures and cloudy skies to the far north end of the State. A weak low pressure system moved across Northern California Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures dropped to as much as 10 degrees below normal.

Precipitation was confined mostly to the foothills and northern Sierra with some scattered showers in the Sacramento Valley and the Central Sierra on Sunday. Mountain precipitation amounts were generally less than a quarter inch.

Late Sunday night a small area of instability moved into the north valley and tracked down the Sierras from Chico to south of Interstate 50. This area was accompanied by thunderstorms that dropped up to an inch in some locations.

Field crops

Favorable weather conditions quickened the pace of field work. Spring planting moved forward throughout the California. Fertilizing, rolling, flooding, and sowing activities were underway in Sacramento Valley rice fields.

The first cutting of alfalfa was at various stages of cutting and was baled. Some San Joaquin Valley (SJV) fields progressed to the second cutting.

Sunflower seed crop planting continued. Winter wheat and oat fields were harvested and cut hay was left to dry in fields.

Cotton was planted; previously planted cotton fields began leaf development.

Corn and sorghum seed was shipped for planting. Dry bean planting was ongoing. Spring field work continued with weed control in small grain and alfalfa fields, preplant herbicide applications, and spring tillage to prepare seedbeds.

Fruit crops

The Valencia orange and lemon harvests continued normally in the SJV. The Navel orange and mandarin harvests continued to wind down as the grapefruit harvest was completed.

Early cherries were packed in Southern California while growers prepared for the harvest of early varieties in the Central Valley. The kiwi bloom was expected shortly in the Sacramento Valley.

The blueberry and strawberry harvests were ongoing in the SJV along with new plantings.

Grapes were at various stages of growth from shoot growth to flowering. Thinning continued in fruit orchards and vineyards plus weed and pest control.

Nut crops

Normal nut drop occurred in almond orchards with larger nut drop observed among Butte varieties. Monitoring of the pests peach twig borer, navel orangeworm (NOW), and mites was ongoing.

Blight spray was ongoing in walnut orchards as the bloom was completed. High numbers of NOW were found in pistachio orchards in Kern County causing affected growers to add an insecticide to planned nutrient sprays.

Vegetable crops

Tulare County reported spinach harvest, plus tomato, pepper, squash, and eggplant planting.

Fresno County reported tomato blooms looked good. Garlic and onions were sizing nicely. Processing tomatoes were planted. 

In Merced County, bell pepper, cantaloupe, honeydew, and tomato planting continued. The asparagus harvest continued. Monterey County reported the lettuce harvest in full swing.

San Joaquin County reported asparagus production in full swing. Processing and fresh market tomatoes were transplanted. Carrots were planted.

Field work, preplant herbicide treatments, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County. Tomatoes were transplanted and sprayed for fungus in Colusa County. 

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