The latest California agriculture update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
At the start of the week, a high pressure ridge over the Western U.S. brought warm, dry conditions to most of California, except for the extreme northern coast where low clouds and drizzle kept temperatures cool. Elsewhere, above normal temperatures were common.
By midweek a low pressure trough pushed through the Pacific Northwest and into the Intermountain Region. This resulted in an increased onshore flow across California which brought cooler air into the state. The low pressure system had moved east of the region by Friday and high pressure began to rebuild over the West Coast, resulting in a warming trend for the weekend.
Overall above normal temperatures were reported across California with no significant precipitation.
Corn for silage continued to be harvested and replanted. Cotton plants set bolls and continued to be irrigated and receive insect control treatments for lygus. Alfalfa continued to be cut and baled. Wheat harvest had been completed.
Sunflower and safflower continued to mature and dry down. Sudan hay and small grain harvest continued. Rice plants began to head out. Growers carried out necessary field operations including cultivation, irrigation, and chemical treatments. The cucurbit seed harvest began.
The fig, nectarine, peach, plum, and other stone fruit harvests continued in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. The prune harvest picked up speed in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.
The table grape harvest was in full swing in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) while raisin grapes and wine grapes continued to mature. North Coast vineyards continued to develop well. Berry growers along the Central Coast reported good sugar levels as they finished spraying to control mildew and weeds.
Replanting, tilling, and soil fumigation was done for some San Joaquin strawberry blocks. The Bartlett pear harvest was slowing down along the North Coast and in the Sacramento Valley. The gala apple harvest continued in the SJV, and began in the Sacramento Valley.
The Valencia orange harvest slowed down significantly in the SJV. Normal spraying and maintenance continued in orchards and vineyards.
Widespread shaking of Nonpareil almonds was underway in the SJV while shaking began in the Sacramento Valley. Crop quality looked good and no significant pest problems were found.
In preparation for the upcoming walnut harvest, ground preparation and spraying continued. Hull-splitting in some southern San Joaquin pistachio orchards was observed as the crop continued to develop well.
The eggplant harvest continued in Tulare County and the planting of late fall squash and tomatoes was taking place. Honeydew continued to be picked and packed and the quality of the crop was excellent.
The harvesting of sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and other melon varieties for farmers’ markets continued in Sutter County. Lygus and stinkbug treatments on tomatoes continued and melons were treated for weeds and worms.
In Fresno County, the processing tomato harvest was 90 percent complete and despite some sunburn damage the yields were mostly good. Garlic also had some quality issues from sunburn but the extent of the damage is yet to be seen. The carrot harvest was 50 percent completed with mostly good crop quality.
The fresh market onion harvest was completed with some quality issues caused by hail in the early season. Dehydrator onions were awaiting harvest.
Merced County’s fresh market tomato planting was winding down and worm sprays were applied to fields. The basil harvest began and harvests continued for bell peppers, fresh market and processing tomatoes, fresh market red and white onions, honeydew, cantaloupe, tomatillos, and watermelon.
Melons, tomatoes, and sweet corn were harvested in Stanislaus County. Various organic vegetables were being harvested in Kern County.