The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released May 29, 2012.
A low pressure system brushed Northern California at the start of the week of May 21 bringing rain to the extreme northern coastal region. The front did not affect the high pressure which was over the southern half of California where very warm temperatures were reported in the southeast interior.
Light rains persisted across the North Coast Tuesday while the rest of the state remained dry and warm.
The high pressure began to weaken Wednesday as an unusually strong, low-pressure system developed over the British Columbia Coast and began to drive southward. This fast-moving system reached Southern California Thursday and brought cooler temperatures to the state.
Moisture was somewhat limited with this system so significant precipitation was limited to mountainous regions with some snowfall at the highest elevations.
Many interior areas reported at least light rain with this system. By the end of the week, the low pressure had moved out of the state but high pressure was slow to develop in its wake. As a result, temperatures remained below normal for most areas.
Temperatures cooled off during the week slowing the pace of development. Gusty winds throughout the week aided the dry down of the wheat crop. The crop was rated mostly good to excellent as harvest picked up the pace.
Alfalfa growers allowed the crop to grow in preparation for the third cutting.
Even though temperatures cooled during the week, cotton responded well and emerged at a rapid pace while some early-planted cotton started to square. Post-emergence fertilizers were applied to the cotton crop. Some producers sprayed for mites and lygus. The cotton crop was rated good to excellent.
Corn showed good development progress. Nearly the entire rice crop was planted.
Plum, prune, peach, apricot, and nectarine fruit progressed and developed. Prune and peach trees in the Sacramento Valley were thinned due to heavy sets. Harvests continued in early peach, nectarine, and apricot varieties in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV).
The cherry harvest picked up. The apple and pear blooms were over as fruit developed. Kiwis flowered and bees were in kiwi vineyards for the bloom.
Fruit developed on grape vines. SJV grapes were sprayed for powdery mildew.
Pomegranates were in full bloom. The olive bloom was reportedly heavy. Blueberries and strawberries in the SJV were picked and packed.
The citrus bloom was complete. Nets were removed from seedless tangerine groves. The Navel orange harvest was nearly complete. The harvests of lemons and Valencia oranges continued.
The almond crop progressed well as nuts hardened. Walnut fungicide applications continued as the nuts developed. Pistachios developed.
Tulare County reported summer vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants progressed well. Squash and other vegetables were harvested.
Fresno County reported onions and garlic progressed rapidly. Processing tomatoes and carrots were irrigated and fertilized.
In San Joaquin County, the asparagus harvest continued. Onions grew and watermelon was planted.
In Sutter County, tomato transplants grew rapidly.