With the summer months just a stone’s throw away, crop growers in California and Arizona are farming at full throttle the 350-plus commodities grown in the two-state area.
In California in mid-April, grape vines bloomed and leafed out. Growers sprayed vines with fungicides to protect against powdery mildew, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) office in Sacramento.
The blueberry harvest began while the strawberry harvest progressed. The apple and pomegranate blooms slowed. Pear trees leafed out. Harvest began for early peach varieties. Apricot, nectarine, and plum fruit grew larger.
The cherry bloom was scattered with some trees developing fruit. Bloom on late variety stone fruit trees decreased as fruit thinning continued on early stone fruit varieties.
In citrus, bloom continued as trees were topped and skirted. The Navel and Valencia orange and mandarin harvests were active. Nets were placed over mandarin trees to prevent the pollination by bees.
California cotton planting neared completion as more than four-fifths of the crop was in the ground; ahead of schedule due to reduced acreage and warm, dry weather. Emergence was underway.
Alfalfa fields showed little evidence of aphids or weevils. The second cutting continued in the Central Valley.
On the tree nut side, walnut and pistachio bloom continued with some pistachio trees leafing out. Early walnut varieties developed nuts; growers began coddling moth sprays. Pecan bloom was nearing. Almond nuts continued to size while orchards were irrigated and fertilized.
Growers in Fresno and Sutter counties planted processing tomatoes. The lettuce harvest slowed in Monterey County.
In Arizona, NASS reports the alfalfa crop condition as very poor to excellent, depending on the location. Harvesting is underway on more than three-quarters of the state’s acreage.
Durum wheat conditions are fair to mostly excellent with 70 percent of the crop headed. Cotton planting is more than half complete (55 percent).
Winter vegetable growers were finishing up shipments of green and red cabbage, kale, parsley, spinach, iceberg, and romaine lettuce.