The latest California agriculture update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
A persistent low pressure trough brought Northern California below normal temperatures through the week. Southern California was near normal through the period.
The only precipitation was isolated showers and thunderstorms over the northern mountains mid week, a few sprinkles over the central valley, and a few thunderstorms over the Sierra Nevada last weekend.
• Field crops
Alfalfa continued to be cut and baled. Other winter forage and small grains continued to be harvested for hay and silage. The wheat harvest was complete in most areas.
Safflower and sunflower continued to bloom. Chickpea harvest has concluded in most areas. Sudan grass hay harvest continued.
Herbicide applications to rice slowed, and some fields received fertilizer. Cotton continued to bloom and was treated for small amounts of lygus and aphids.
Corn for silage started to tassel; some fields received irrigation and treatment for mites. Grain sorghum was planted. Black-eye beans continued to mature.
• Fruit crops
Nectarine, cling peach, and plum harvests continued normally in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys as the apricot harvest was completed. Primary varieties harvested included Catalina and Fortune plums, in addition to Elegant Lady and Zee Lady peaches.
Red pear harvest began in Sacramento Valley, while pear development has been slowed by cool temperatures along the North Coast.
Thinning along the North Coast was done to aid grape development and also to protect against mildew. Pruning and trellising in Central Coast vineyards continued. The flame grapes harvest continued to increase in volume in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). The blackberry harvest continued.
Valencia orange harvest continued with some re-greening occurrences in the SJV. Citrus tree shipments for planting from nurseries continued, although volume is decreasing. Normal spraying, maintenance, and irrigation continued in orchards and vineyards.
• Nut crops
Codling moth, mites, and worm treatments continued for walnuts, in addition to sunburn prevention sprays being applied. Hull split and miticide spraying continued for almonds in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.
• Vegetable crops
Maintenance activities, irrigation, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County. The harvest of vegetables for farmers’ markets progressed. Weed treatments were applied to sweet corn.
In Tulare County summer vegetables, including honeydew, sweet corn, peppers, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, and commercial tomatoes, continued to be harvested. Fresh market and processing tomato fields were still being planted in Merced County where the harvest of fresh market tomatoes continued. The bell pepper harvest was ongoing, and the harvest of fresh market red and white onions began.
Kern County’s carrot harvest was slowing down. Honeydew and cantaloupe melon harvests began in the SJV.