The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
At the start of the week (Dec. 14), scattered showers fell across Northern California as a weather system moved out of the state and into the Great Basin to the east. Southern California was dry and mild.
As the week progressed, high pressure built over California. The high pressure trapped cool air and moisture in the Central Valley. As a result, foggy and cool weather persisted across most of the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.
Southern California enjoyed sunny and unseasonably warm weather as abundant sunshine warmed the southland. The high pressure buckled slightly by Friday as a weak weather system pushed through the Pacific Northwest and brushed the northern coast of California. The system spread light showers across much of Northern California during the weekend.
Southern California remained dry with very warm temperatures on Saturday and then cooled off.
• Field crops
Wheat, oats, and barley were planted. Planted fields benefitted from the rainfall. Early planted seed emerged. Harvested fields continued to be prepared for next year. Ground preparation, weed treatments, and fertilization continued for next year’s crop. Alfalfa has gone dormant and fields were grazed off by sheep.
• Fruit crops
Satsuma and Clementine mandarins, Navel oranges, and grapefruit were picked in the Central Valley. There was some minor freeze damage to young olive and citrus orchards as a result of the previous week’s lower temperatures. The lower temperatures helped fruit trees and vines enter a deeper dormancy for the winter.
The lemon harvest continued in the desert region along with some fruit picked in the San Joaquin Valley. Normal maintenance activities included orchard pruning, weed control measures, and fertilizer applications.
• Nut crops
Post-harvest pruning and maintenance activities continued normally in nut orchards as trees entered dormancy for the winter.
• Vegetable crops
Ground preparation and other field work occurred in Sutter and San Joaquin counties. On the west side of Stanislaus County, the harvest of broccoli and cauliflower was still going strong.
Carrots and fall lettuce were harvested in Fresno County. Dehydrator onions were planted and tomato beds were prepared. The radicchio harvest progressed in Merced County.
Tulare County vegetable growers prepared ground for spring planting and soil fumigation as soil moisture allowed. In Kern County, winter vegetables were growing and ground was prepared for lettuce planting.