The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
A series of storm systems brought widespread showers to California. The start of the week was dry with a ridge of high pressure allowing mostly sunny, dry, and mild conditions to prevail across much of California.
By Tuesday, a low pressure system moved to just off the coast of the Pacific Northwest bringing a cold front to Northern California, rains and mountain snow across the northern half of the state, and dry weather to Southern California. The low shifted south resulting in showers in the south Thursday.
With the low positioned near Southern California, Northern California had dry but cool conditions at the end of the week while showers fell in the south during the weekend. On Sunday, the low pressure system, which had been off the Southern Californian coast, shifted inland and quickly moved into Arizona by Sunday night.
Winter wheat, oat, rye, and barley fields have emerged. Early fields started to head out. Dryland crops continued to benefit from the recent rainfall. As conditions allowed field preparation for spring planting was carried out. Herbicides were put on through aerial and ground applications.
Cotton beds were maintained through cultivation and herbicide application. Corn and bean fields were prepared for planting. Garbanzo beans started to grow. Rice fields were drained. Potatoes grew and leafed out. Alfalfa fields were sprayed for grass and broadleaf.
Full bloom continued for the plum, prune, peach, cherry, and other early varieties of stone fruit across the Central Valley. Fungicide sprays were applied to blooming stone fruit trees. Pruning of orchards and vineyards approached completion while citrus trees were topped. Picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, grapefruit, and lemons continued.
Strawberry and blueberry plantings began blooming. Out-of-state raspberry bushes arrived for planting.
Widespread bloom continued in almond orchards, in addition to considerable petal fall. As a result of recent moisture and anticipated warmer weather, brown rot remained a concern. Most growers applied second and third protective sprays to limit the impact of spring diseases.
Spinach fields matured and greenhouse vegetables were harvested in Tulare County. Wet ground in Colusa County slowed preparation for processing tomato planting. Fieldwork, pre-plant herbicide treatments, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County.
Most winter carrots, lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower in Imperial County had been harvested. Organic lettuce and other vegetables were harvested in Kern County. In San Joaquin County, asparagus harvest continued when weather and ground conditions permitted.
The winter vegetable harvest in Fresno County progressed but was winding down as some spring vegetables started to emerge. Beets, cabbage, cauliflower, green onions, herbs, and turnips were harvested. Spring broccoli plants grew well. Asparagus spears emerged in some fields while harvest began in others.
Fall-planted garlic and onion crops grew well and were treated for weeds. Tomatoes and carrots planted from seed grew nicely. Spring lettuce matured well and fields were weeded, thinned, and treated for pests. Early planted sweet corn emerged.
Bed preparation continued for melons when soil conditions were suitable. Seeded processing tomatoes began to germinate and emerge. Growers prepared subsequent fields for planting or transplanting.