California crop report

A series of weak low pressure systems transited through northern California last week, resulting in slight temperature swings from near normal to above normal for the north for most of the week. Light amounts of precipitation were mostly confined to coastal areas and across the mountains. In southern California, a moderate offshore flow kept the coastal region and nearby inland valleys cool. On Wednesday, a weak cold front pushing through the state spread a few showers across southern California, and the coast and mountains of northern California. The Central Valley remained dry. A final low pressure trough pushed through the state on Sunday. The main effect of this system was to cool temperatures down across the state, no significant precipitation was observed from this system.

Barley, oats, wheat, and winter forage harvests continued. Alfalfa second cutting continued. Planting of corn for grain and silage continued and weed spraying was underway. Rice field preparation was nearly complete while flooding and early herbicide applications continued. Dry lima bean planting was underway in Merced County. Sugar beet fields were growing well with spring fields being harvested. Safflower fields remained in various stages of growth.

With grape bloom underway growers were thinning leaves to increase sunlight and airflow to vines. Last month’s frost damage to vineyards and orchards was still being evaluated. Irrigation and treatments in vineyards and orchards for weeds and insects remained underway. Some stone fruit orchards were still being thinned. Brooks cherries, Poppy and Tasty Rich apricots, Golden Sweet apriums, Super Rich, April Snow and Super Lady peaches, and April Fire and Ruby Fire nectarines were harvested. Kiwi blooms were showing in Yuba County. Boysenberries were still blooming and spring strawberry harvest continued. Blueberry harvest began. The harvests of lemons, Navel and Valencia oranges, and late season grapefruit continued. Pink grapefruit was going to juicers in Imperial County. Mandarin harvest was winding down. More rind puff and break down were seen in Navels. Field juicing of Navels not suitable for the fresh market was on the rise. Citrus bloom was winding down and fruit set had begun. New citrus plantings were underway. Olives were forming fruit.

Nut groves were being irrigated. Pistachios were set on trees. Almond branches were sagging under the weight of this year’s crop. In some areas almond branches broke off due to winds. Codling moth spraying had begun in walnut groves.

Imperial Valley onion and sweet corn harvests actively continued, while early melon harvest was about ten days from starting. In other Southern California areas processing tomatoes were being planted and were growing well. In the Central Valley, transplanting of bell peppers, tomatoes for fresh and processing markets and melons were ongoing, while peas, peppers, sweet corn, onions (red, white and yellow), beans (green, fava and long), cucumbers and summer squash were reported to be in good condition and growing nicely. Asparagus and broccoli harvests continued. Spinach harvest for the processing market was going strong. Farmer’s market crops such as amaranth, basil, bok choy, beets, leeks, kale, greens, radishes and yams were being harvested. Harvest continued for early squash and peppers. In northern Central Valley areas processing tomatoes were growing well and melon growers were preparing their fields but waiting for consistent soil temperatures before planting. Current vegetables harvested were lettuce and carrots. Peppers, watermelons, and other melons were growing well. Fresh market onion harvest was going well with good quality reported in areas farther north. Other crops being harvested were dehydrated onions, carrots, sweet corn and artichokes. Radicchio packing continued.

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