Barley, oats, wheat, and winter forage harvests continued with some fields drying down across California, according to the USDA/NASS California office.
Dryland grain, wheat, and winter forage is being cut for silage and hay. Alfalfa second cutting and baling was underway. Corn planting continued and cotton planting was nearly complete. Rice field preparation and planting continued. Mustard seed remained in full bloom. Sugar beet fields were growing well with spring fields being harvested. Safflower fields remained in various stages of growth.
Grapes continued to leaf out and growers were taking measures to control suckers. Growers were still assessing frost damage that occurred to grapes and fruit trees in April. Fruit thinning was still underway in some orchards. Vineyards and stone fruit orchards were irrigated. Stone fruit harvest had begun. Brooks cherries, Poppy and Tasty Rich apricots, April Snow and Super Lady peaches and April Fire nectarines were being picked. Spring strawberries, boysenberries and blueberries were still blooming and strawberry fields were being harvested. Blueberries were near harvest and some growers were covering their crops with netting to keep birds from eating the fruit. Tangelos, grapefruit, lemons and Navel and Valencia oranges were harvested. Citrus groves were still blooming and petal fall was nearly complete in some areas. In some mandarin orchards netting was applied to keep bees from cross-pollinating trees. Irrigation measures were increased in citrus groves to reduce stress and increase fruit set. Olive bloom continued and some trees were forming fruit.
Almonds were progressing normally. Growers were closely watching their groves for pests and some were initiating insect control measures. Many new almond trees were expected to come into production this year. Blight and scale treatments took place in walnut groves. Damage that occurred due to freezing temperatures in April was still being assessed in walnut groves. Irrigation continued in nut groves.
Imperial Valley onion and sweet corn harvests actively continued, while early melon harvest was about ten days to two weeks from commencing. In Fresno County, transplanting of bell peppers, tomatoes for fresh and processing markets, and melons continued. Peas, peppers, sweet corn, onions (red, white and yellow), beans (green, fava and long), cucumbers, melons and summer squash were reported to be in good condition and growing nicely. Asparagus and broccoli harvests continued on the west side. Farmer’s market crops such as amaranth, basil, bok choy, beets, leeks, kale, greens, radishes and yams were being harvested. In Tulare County harvest continued for squash and peppers. In Kern County, processing tomatoes were growing well. Current vegetables harvested were lettuce and carrots. In the Central Valley, fresh market and processing tomato, cantaloupe, watermelon and bell pepper harvests continued. Spinach harvest for the processing market was going strong while asparagus harvest was winding down. In Sutter County, fresh market onion harvest was going well with good quality reported. Other crops being harvested were dehydrated onions, carrots, sweet corn and artichokes. Radicchio packing continued.