The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
A strong cold front entered California on Monday (April 26). The late-season storm brought rain to the valley and snow to the mountains.
One to 2 inches of rain fell in the Central Valley. Two to 3 feet of snow fell above the 5,000 feet level in the mountains. The main energy of the cold front remained north of Pismo Beach on Monday and Tuesday. Southern California remained dry with daytime highs in the 70s and 60s.
By Wednesday, rain spread over most of the Golden State. Southern California received less than .25 inches of rain. High pressure began building over the state Thursday.
The weekend was California Golden with mostly clear skies with highs in the 70s to lower 80s in the Central Valley. High temperatures in the mountains were in the 60s and 50s.
Planting for rice, corn, and cotton crops was in full-swing. Cotton planting was nearly complete.
In wet areas, warm and dry conditions aided the dry down of the first cutting of alfalfa. Producers in drier areas started the second cutting.
Intermittent periods of wet weather and windy conditions caused some lodging of small grains. No significant damage was reported.
Continued cool weather mid-week slowed the maturity of barley, safflower, oats, and wheat. Chemical applications were applied to suppress disease and insect outbreaks.
The picking of Valencia oranges and lemons continued normally as the Navel orange and tangerine harvests slowed.
The citrus bloom was ongoing as cool weather extended the duration. Preparations continued for the upcoming cherry harvest, while there were concerns about the impact of recent inclement weather on the crop.
Herbicide applications were ongoing in prune orchards. Wet weather slowed the maturity of early apricot and nectarine varieties in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV).
Fungicide and fertilizer applications along with irrigation continued in grape vineyards in the Central Valley. Grapevine growth slowed in Central Coast vineyards due to cooler temperatures. Some vineyards were sprayed for European grapevine moth.
The early strawberry harvest continued normally in the SJV. Normal ground maintenance was ongoing in orchards and vineyards, which included thinning to increase light exposure and fertilizer applications.
Ongoing cool and wet weather complicated spray scheduling in almond orchards as insect development was subdued. There were reports of leaffooted bugs in the southern SJV, but damage was minimal.
Walnut blight applications were ongoing as the walnut bloom continued. Irrigation continued in pistachio orchards while blooming increased.
Carrots, lettuce, processing tomatoes, asparagus, and organic vegetables grew well in Kern County. Fieldwork continued in Sutter County and included pre-plant herbicide treatments and ground preparation.
In San Joaquin County, the asparagus crop was cut. Tulare County’s early planted melons began to emerge. Fields were prepared for future plantings of summer vegetables. The development of the early squash crop was affected by cooler temperatures.
Imperial County’s sweet corn harvest was ongoing. The onion harvest began, but cantaloupe and watermelon fields were about a month away with good quality being reported.
In Fresno County, onions were treated with fungicides to combat downy mildew. Carrots were cultivated and treated with herbicides.