The California Crop Weather report from the Sacramento, Calif., Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service released Dec. 5, 2011.
The week of Nov. 28 began with a high pressure ridge building over the West Coast resulting in cool, foggy conditions across the Central Valley with higher elevations enjoying sunshine but cool temperatures.
A strong and cold but relatively dry low pressure system pushed through British Columbia on Tuesday and rapidly moved into the Great Basin setting the stage for a strong, offshore wind event.
This pattern brought strong, damaging winds to California beginning Wednesday with Santa Ana conditions in Southern California. These down-slope winds packed very dry air, and temperatures warmed under the sunny conditions. Record-high temperatures were experienced in the Sacramento Valley Friday.
The extreme dryness of the air, combined with continued breezy conditions, resulted in fire weather warnings towards the end of the week with Red Flag Warnings issued in Southern California and Central California as well. No significant precipitation was recorded in the state this week.
The second picking of cotton was nearly complete with most producers chopping and disking the crops in preparation for spring. The winter wheat crop was planted. Winter wheat emergence progressed. Producers applied herbicides for broadleaf weed control.
Pre-emergence weed spraying began in orchards and vineyards. Soil fumigation for new and replacement plantings began as well.
The Asian pear and Fuyu and Hachiya persimmon harvests continued. Pineapple quinces, figs, kiwifruit, and apples were harvested. The pomegranate harvest continued. The olive harvest was complete in the southern San Joaquin Valley (SJV).
The SJV table grape harvest continued to wind down with just a few varieties still being harvested. The wine grape harvest was complete in most of the state.
The Satsuma mandarin harvest continued. The tangerine harvest continued. Pummelo and Melogold grapefruits were packed for export. The Navel orange harvest continued.
The walnut harvest was nearly complete. Finished walnut groves were irrigated.
Almond stockpiles were hulled.
The pistachio harvest was wrapping up. Post-harvest clean up and pruning began.
Kern County reported lettuce, carrot, and cabbage harvests.
Fresno County reported broccoli, lettuce, and spinach growing at a good rate while dehydrator onion beds were prepared.
The radicchio harvest continued in Merced County.