The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
A series of storm systems traversed California the first week of February. Most of the systems affected northern California and spread light to moderate amounts of precipitation to the valleys and mountains. Southern California remained dry and mild.
The most serious storm of the series moved south and brought heavy rains to southern California during the weekend with disastrous results in the foothills where numerous mudslides occurred. By Sunday, the last storm exited the state and rebuilding high pressure brought dry weather and clearing skies.
The recent rainfall was beneficial for dryland crops and lessened the need to irrigate, but also brought a resurgence of weed growth. As field conditions allowed, weed control measures were taken for mustard and other broadleaf weeds in wheat and oat fields. Alfalfa fields were treated with herbicides. Garbanzo beans and safflower developed.
Maintenance work continued toward a normal pace in vineyards and orchards as the ground dried. Vineyard maintenance included pruning, shredding, tying, cultivating, plus dormant spray applications. Orchard maintenance focused on pruning and some herbicide applications.
The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, grapefruit, and lemons also increased as grounds dried.
Orchard work resumed as grounds dried. Almond buds continued to swell, and widespread bloom is expected in one to two weeks.
In Tulare County, the harvest of spinach, broccoli, and cabbage continued. Ground preparation continued in Sutter County.
In Fresno County, the harvest of winter vegetables, including beets, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, daikon, green onions, herbs, bok choy, gai choy, yu choy, Swiss chard, and kale continued in full swing. Ground preparation continued with some planting of vegetables for next season.
Garlic and onion crops planted in the fall showed good growth. Spring lettuce grew well. Carrot fields planted from seed were emerging. Growers with upcoming melon and processing tomato crops made fumigation applications.
In Kern County, cabbage, broccoli, and potatoes grew well and carrots were harvested. Wet conditions limited the amount of produce harvested in Imperial County.