Farm Progress

California Crop Weather: more rain needed in dryland grain

Nut crops - Irrigation, orchard removal, planting, and pruning continued in California walnut and pistachio orchards, and wrapped up in almond orchards. Buds began to swell suggesting bloom was imminent.

Farm Press Staff

February 8, 2012

2 Min Read

The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office released Feb. 6, 2012.


At the start of the week of Jan. 30, a weak Pacific frontal system brushed Northern California and spread some showers across the northern coast and far northern mountains. The rest of the state remained dry. 

High pressure moved in behind the front Tuesday resulting in a slight warming trend for much of the state and dry conditions, except for a few residual light showers along the far northern coast. 

Wednesday saw another cold front sweep across Northern California. This system brought measurable precipitation to the Central Valley, the coast, and mountains. 

Strong, high pressure developed in the wake of this last system. An offshore wind flow brought drying conditions especially to Southern California. 

Very mild temperatures were reported across the state by the end of the week.

Field crops

Dryland grain growth and development improved from recent rains. However, crops were irrigated since more precipitation was needed to sustain growth. 

Some dry-land oat fields were disked due to lack of growth caused by water shortages. 

Ground preparation, cultivation, fertilization, weed spraying, and pre-plant herbicide application continued in winter wheat, rye, alfalfa, and oat fields.

Fruit crops

Peach, prune, and other stone fruit orchards were irrigated, pruned, and planted. Growers applied late dormant sprays. Some stone fruit trees started to bloom.

Grape and kiwi vineyards were pruned. Kiwifruit, persimmons, and Asian pears were exported. 

Navel orange and tangerine harvests continued. Frost damage remained a concern. The export of pummelos, grapefruit, Cara Caras, and lemons was ongoing.

Nut crops

Irrigation, orchard removal, planting, and pruning continued in walnut and pistachio orchards, and wrapped up in almond orchards. Growers applied fertilizers, herbicides, and dormant sprays. Buds began to swell suggesting bloom was imminent. 

Vegetable crops

Fresno County reported carrot, spinach, broccoli, and lettuce harvests while garlic and onions were irrigated and fertilized.

Merced County reported radicchio and broccoli harvests.

In Stanislaus County, broccoli was harvested. Parsley, asparagus, and spinach grew very well.

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