The California Crop Weather Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Phoenix released July 30, 2012.
The week of July 23 began with unusual early morning showers and thunderstorms across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the foothills, and up the Central Valley, plus isolated showers across southern mountains; all the result of monsoonal moisture which spread up from Mexico.
As the week progressed, a stable southwest flow dominated the weather pattern with dry conditions and a slight cooling trend through the middle of the week.
Temperatures began to warm back up slightly towards the weekend but conditions remained dry. Temperatures statewide were generally near or slightly below normal through Thursday, then near or slightly above normal by the end of the week.
Light rainfall amounts were reported across the Central Valley with moderate amounts in the mountains Monday. The rest the week was dry.
Cotton showed good fruit retention and fruit development progressed well. Cotton fields were in full bloom. Many fields were irrigated last week.
Nearly the entire cotton crop was squared and about two-thirds of the crop was setting bolls. Reporters noted an unusually low amount of pest pressure on the crop. Producers were reminded to monitor the crop.
Corn for grain grew well while corn for silage was harvested.
The cotton and rice crops were rated mostly good to excellent.
Rice progressed well due to favorable weather conditions and began to head in some earlier planted fields.
Alfalfa was cut, raked, and baled.
Row crops were cultivated. Black-eyed peas bloomed and sent out runners. Most safflower fields were fully developed and waited for harvest.
The peach, nectarine, and fresh plum harvests continued as the apricot harvest was winding down. The cling peach harvest continued. Prunes progressed well as irrigation and potassium applications were ongoing. The prune harvest was a month away.
The table grape harvest picked up with the Flame Seedless and Summer Royal varieties harvested in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV).
Wine grapes colored and sugared as harvest in the SJV was expected to start in several weeks.
The Gala apple harvest began. Kiwi, fig, jujube, olive, and pomegranate fruit developed. Strawberries and blackberries were picked and packed in the SJV and coastal areas. The blueberry harvest was nearly complete.
The harvests of Valencia oranges, lemons, and grapefruit continued. Ethylene gas was used on Valencia oranges due to re-greening fruit.
Almond hull split continued as harvest in the southern SJV was expected to start the week of July 30.
There was also good development progress in walnut, pistachio, and pecan orchards. Walnuts were sprayed for weeds, coddling moth, and husk fly.
Navel orangeworm (NOW) activities were high in pistachios; some growers prepared for the third NOW spray.
Kern County reported carrot and melon harvests.
Tulare County reported summer vegetable harvest.
In Fresno County, processing tomatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic were harvested.
Merced County reported fresh market tomatoes, onions, watermelon, and cantaloupe harvests.
In Stanislaus County, tomatoes, honeydews, watermelon, and cantaloupes were harvested. Beans grew well in the heat.
San Joaquin County reported onion, watermelon, squash, and tomato harvests.
Pumpkins were planted in Sutter County. Processing tomatoes turned color and were treated for mildew and target pests. Fresh market fruits and vegetables were harvested for roadside stands and farmers markets.