The latest California agriculture update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
The start of the week found California under the influence of an upper level high pressure ridge. This high pressure system grew stronger and shifted its center to the Four Corners region resulting in warm and dry weather across most of the state.
Daytime temperatures for the first half of the week were ranging above normal. Subtropical moisture moving up from the south fed isolated thunderstorms which developed over the Sierra Crest.
As the week progressed, the high pressure weakened enough to permit an onshore flow to bring a sea breeze to coastal stations and to the Sacramento River Delta region.
Temperatures in these areas cooled to below normal levels by the weekend. No significant precipitation was reported in the state this week.
• Field crops
Wheat harvest was completed in most areas. Alfalfa moved into the third and fourth cutting, with some beginning fifth cutting.
Cotton has not been affected by the recent heat. Fields continued to be treated for lygus.
Herbicide treatments continued for rice fields. Sunflowers are headed out. Corn continued to be planted and sprayed in some areas. Dry and Lima bean planting continued. Safflower and sorghum fields also continued to develop. The harvest of broccoli for seed was completed.
• Fruit crops
Apricot, nectarine, peach, plum, and fig harvests continued normally in the Sacramento Valley. Some prune orchards experienced fruit drop there.
Thinning to optimize light penetration for maturation and coloring of table grapes continued in the San Joaquin Valley, while the flame grapes harvest had begun. Higher temperatures aided grapevine development along the Central Coast, though mildew concerns remain.
The blueberry harvest was completed as the blackberry and boysenberry harvests continued.
The navel orange harvest was completed, while the Valencia orange harvest continued. Spraying continued in San Joaquin orchards and vineyards.
• Nut crops
Codling moth, mite, and worm treatments continued for walnuts, and hull split spraying began for almonds in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Most almond growers were also including a miticide in the hull split spray.
• Vegetable crops
Tulare County’s harvest of various summer vegetables was ongoing including peppers, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The harvests of commercial tomatoes, melon, and sweet corn were also underway.
In Colusa County, processing tomatoes were not far from being harvested and good yields were expected. Some sweet corn was being harvested in Sacramento County. Kern County farmers harvested peppers, carrots, fresh market onions, and processing tomatoes.
Fresh market and processing tomato fields were planted in Merced County, while the harvests of watermelon and fresh market tomatoes progressed.
Fresno County’s fresh market tomato harvest began along with yellow onions, organic garlic, and carrots.