The latest California agriculture update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
At the start of the week, seasonably warm and dry conditions existed across California as high pressure built over the West Coast. The warm and dry conditions continued through midweek.
An upper level low pressure trough approached California from the northwest on Wednesday. This brought an onshore wind pattern which brought cooler temperatures to the costal regions and to adjacent inland valleys.
The interior deserts and mountains remained warm for most of the week. By the weekend, another upper level trough, a little stronger than the previous system, brought breezy onshore winds, cooler temperatures, and subtropical moisture to California.
By Sunday, the subtropical moisture triggered scattered thunderstorm activity across the state’s mountain ranges. The thunderstorms contained enough moisture to produce measurable rain at several mountain stations across the Sierra Nevada Range.
The only other measurable rainfall was along the immediate coastline where a few stations reported drizzle and light rain.
• Field crops
Cotton continued to mature and was treated for mites and lygus. Irrigation of cotton fields was nearly complete in most areas. Some areas had already used up their water allocation.
Corn for silage continued to be harvested and replanted. Early planted corn for grain was being harvested in Tulare County.
Alfalfa continued to be cut, baled, and sprayed. Some alfalfa fields in Kern County were being cut off from water due to large supplies of hay with no buyers.
Rice plants were mostly headed. Ground preparation was taking place on some fallow fields.
• Fruit crops
Fig, nectarine, peach, plum, and gala apple harvests continued in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. The prune harvest was in full swing and progressed well.
The table grape harvest continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) though harvest had begun slowing down. The raisin grape harvest began in the SJV, while wine grapes continued to mature normally across the state.
Replanting, tilling, and soil fumigation continued for some San Joaquin strawberry blocks. Aphid treatments on pomegranate orchards were applied. The Bartlett pear harvest continued to slow down along the North Coast and in the Sacramento Valley.
The Valencia orange harvest continued at a slower pace in the SJV. Normal spraying and maintenance continued in orchards and vineyards.
• Nut crops
The Nonpareil almond harvest was in full swing in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley. Shaking, sweeping, gathering, and delivering activities were all underway. Quality looked good overall though efforts to control navel orangeworm (NOW) and other pests were undertaken.
Ground preparation and spraying continued in preparation for the upcoming walnut harvest. Pistachio orchards continued to develop well.
• Vegetable crops
Processing tomatoes were harvested in Fresno County. The planting of fresh market tomato fields was finished in Merced County, but radicchio planting had just begun.
Basil, fresh market and processing tomatoes, bell peppers, fresh market red and white onions, honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, and tomatillos continued to be harvested. Worm sprays were applied to tomato fields.
Sutter County’s harvests of sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and other melon varieties for farmers’ markets continued.
Harvests also continued for field pack watermelon, processing tomatoes, carrots, onions, and lettuce seed crops. Weed and worm treatments were applied to melons.
The harvesting of eggplant continued in Tulare County, while the tomato harvest slowed down and onion harvest was completed. The replanting of late fall squash and tomatoes were taking place. Honeydew melons continued to be picked and packed with excellent quality reported.
A few organic fields of spinach, chard, and specialty lettuce were harvested in Kern County.