The latest California agriculture update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif. Field Office:
The observed period remained under the influence of an upper level ridge of high pressure that kept the Golden State seasonably warm and dry with a few high clouds. This high pressure center was mostly placed at the Four Corners region.
A few places in the valley stayed relatively warm during the nighttime due to high clouds trapping the escaping heat from the ground and emitting it back down to the surface.
Overnight low temperatures in the foothills were particularly warm due to temperature inversions. Moisture from the subtropics moving up from the south fed cumulus build-ups and a few isolated thunderstorms in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
• Field crops
Spraying for weeds in rice fields slowed. Alfalfa and Sudangrass continued to be cut and baled. Winter forage and small grains continued to be harvested for hay and silage.
Cotton continued to progress with plants squaring and setting bolls; some fields were treated for lygus.
Wheat harvest has been completed in most areas. Chickpea harvest concluded. Corn and sorghum continued to develop. Early planted corn fields were tasseling.
• Fruit crops
Nectarine, cling peach, and plum harvests continued normally in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. Primary harvested varieties included Catalina and Fortune plums, in addition to Elegant Lady and Zee Lady peaches. Sacramento Valley prune growers added tree supports in preparation for harvest, while San Joaquin prune growers experienced significant fruit drop.
Conditions are dry and dusty for North Coast grape vineyards with sulfur applications decreasing and fungicide use continuing at a consistent rate. Conditions were normal for Central Coast vineyards. The Seedless Royal and Flame grapes harvest continued to increase in volume in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV), though increased irrigation was necessary due to high temperatures. The blackberry harvest continued.
The Valencia orange harvest continued with some regreening occurrences in the SJV. Normal spraying and maintenance continued in orchards and vineyards along with increased irrigation to deal with hotter temperatures.
• Nut crops
Codling moth, mites, worm treatments, and sunburn prevention sprays continued for walnuts. Hull split and miticide spraying continued for almonds in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Hull split in Nonpareil almonds was averaging less than 50 percent in most Sacramento Valley orchards.
• Vegetable crops
Fresh market and processing tomato field planting neared completion in Merced County. The harvest of vegetables for farmers’ markets continued. Sweet potato harvest was underway.
In Stanislaus County beans were being sprayed with Agri-Mek for mites and aphids. The tomato harvest was well underway with few pest problems. Tomato yields were reported to be slightly better than the previous year.
Maintenance activities, irrigation, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County. Squash was being harvested. Fresh market onions were harvested with good quality reported. Dehydrator onion yield was strong.
Honeydew and cantaloupe melon harvests continued in the SJV, as well as a late-coming watermelon harvest. Harvest of bell peppers continued.