The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento released Aug. 6, 2012.
The first half of the week of July 30 began with temperatures several degrees above normal as high pressure built in California. Monsoonal moisture caused a few showers and thunderstorms in far southeastern California including one-third to one-inch rainfall in the southern desert areas Tuesday and Wednesday.
The rest of California remained dry throughout the work week. Near normal temperatures returned Friday and into the weekend as a weak low-pressure system formed offshore.
Mostly dry, isolated thunderstorms moved up through California from the southeast Friday evening into Sunday. This brought a few hundredths of an inch of rainfall in the Sierra Nevada and its foothills, but only traces of rainfall through the Central Valley and Bay Area.
Far northeastern California received a few hundredths of an inch from isolated showers and thunderstorms by the end of the weekend.
A fire weather threat was in place throughout the week due to above normal temperatures and relatively dry conditions. Lightning over the weekend throughout California was started several fires.
Hot weather promoted rapid crop development. Cotton showed good fruit retention and fruit development. Cotton bolls opened in early-planted fields. Crop reporters noted an unusually low amount of pest pressure on the crop. Producers monitored the crops.
The cotton and rice crops were rated mostly good to excellent. The rice crop progressed due to favorable weather conditions with more than a third of the rice fields headed.
Corn for grain grew well while corn for silage was harvested.
Alfalfa was cut, raked and baled.
Row crops were cultivated.
The peach, nectarine, and fresh plum harvests continued as the apricot harvest was winding down. The cling peach harvest was ongoing with good size and quality. Prunes progressed well in the Sacramento Valley as irrigation and potassium applications continued.
The table grape harvest continued with the Flame Seedless and Summer Royal varieties harvested in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). The Thompson grape harvest began.
Wine grapes colored and sugared as the SJV harvest was expected to start in a few weeks. Harvest started in a few early champagne grape vineyards.
The Gala apple harvest continued. The Bartlett pear harvest picked up throughout the state. Kiwi, fig, jujube, olive, and pomegranate fruit developed. Strawberries and blackberries were picked and packed. The blueberry harvest was nearly complete.
The harvest of Valencia oranges slowed. Ethylene gas was placed on Valencia oranges due to re-greening fruit.
Almond hull split continued while harvest started in the Nonpareil variety.
There was good crop development progress in walnut, pistachio, and pecan orchards. Walnuts were sprayed for weeds, coddling moth, and husk fly.
Pistachio nut fill continued as growers saw some nut splitting.
Tulare County reported summer vegetable harvests including melons, tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, eggplant, and gourds.
In Fresno County, processing tomatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic were harvested. There were a few reports of worms in tomatoes.
San Joaquin County reported the harvests of onions, watermelon, bell peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. Pumpkins were planted.