At the start of the week, a high pressure system over California brought hot and dry conditions to most of the state. The high pressure ridge shifted east as the week progressed, resulting in temperatures cooling slightly, but for the most part remaining above normal through midweek, according to the Sacramento, Calif., field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
A low pressure system approached the state on Thursday bringing increased onshore flow and cooler temperatures to most of the state. Temperatures actually cooled to below normal levels across the Central Valley by the weekend.
Isolated thunderstorm activity developed across the Sierra Nevada during the week producing the only significant precipitation for California.
• Field crops
Rice planting was still underway and herbicide treatments were applied. Barley continued to mature. Wheat harvest was winding down. Winter forage and other small grains were cut for silage.
Alfalfa was on the third cutting of hay. Seed alfalfa fields were mowed or treated to produce a more compact plant for uniform seed production.
Corn continued to be planted; weed spraying in fields was underway. Early planted corn fields continued to emerge.
Squaring started in the March planted cotton crop. Thrips were treated in some cotton fields. Spider mites were found in Kings County.
Oats continued to be cut and baled. Lima and freezer bean planting continued. Safflower continued to grow well. Sweet potato transplanting and hot bed digging continued. The sugar beet harvest was underway, NASS said.
• Fruit crops
Grapevines continued to be sprayed with fungicides and were thinned and trained for maximum airflow and good sunlight penetration. Pruning, fertilization, and insect and weed control operations were present in orchards throughout the state.
Early harvest of Red Beaut plums, Zee Fire, Polar Light and Red Roy nectarines, Spring Snow, Spring Flame, Crimson Lady and Sugar Time peaches, apricots, and cherries continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Prune growers continued thinning fruit in blocks with excessive set.
Strawberry harvest continued. Asian and Bartlett pears continued developing in the Sacramento Valley. Olives were starting to flower, with some trees forming fruit.
Navel and Valencia orange, grapefruit, and lemon harvests continued. Fig and pomegranate fruit set development continued in the SJV.
• Nut crops
Almond growers monitored for spider mites and applied preventative miticides where necessary. Walnuts were treated for blight. Bloom was complete in walnut, pecan, and pistachio orchards in the southern SJV.
• Vegetable crops
The melon crop in Imperial County was rapidly maturing, showing signs of possible high yields this season. Sweet corn continued to grow well and fresh market and processing onions were being harvested. The carrot harvest was ongoing in Kern County, NASS said. It appeared that planted acreage of peppers slightly increased this year. In Merced County, the planting of fresh market and processing tomato fields progressed and the spring harvest of radicchio continued.
In Tulare County, broccoli and cauliflower were maturing. Early-planted melons were growing well and cucumbers, garlic, and onions were harvested. Tomatoes, peppers, and squash were planted, and growers continued to prepare for future plantings of summer vegetables.
Most spinach on the west side of Stanislaus County has been harvested. Sweet corn was sprayed for weeds.
Sweet corn was also treated for weeds in Sutter County, and onions were treated for thrips and aphids. Processing tomatoes were planted.