The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif., as of Nov. 22.

Weather

A high pressure system aloft moved northward off the Central California coast at the start of the week which brought dry and warm conditions to the state. The conditions persisted through midweek. By Thursday, a strong low pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska approached the West Coast and weakened the high pressure which began to shift eastward out of the state.

This resulted in a dramatic change in the state’s weather. Rain showers associated with this low pressure system began to reach the North Coast Thursday. By Friday, the first in a series of very cold winter-like storms began to pass over the state.

One intense storm pushed through on Saturday spreading widespread rain across the valleys and heavy snow in the mountains. Snow levels dropped to the foothills across northern California in this very cold storm system.

After short respite, another wave moved across the state Sunday spreading rain, snow, and isolated thunderstorms across California.

Field crops

Rice harvest continues to wind down. Cotton harvest continued as fields were ready, while harvested fields were shredded and plowed down to meet pest management requirements. 

Winter wheat, barley, and oat planting continued while early-planted winter grain fields emerged with the assistance of recent showers. Corn harvest for grain and silage continued as the season neared completion.

Late cuttings of alfalfa were baled. Fall tillage, planting, and other field preparation continued for winter crops.

Fruit crops

Fruit trees and grapes were in the early stage of dormancy. The last of the fall grapes were harvested. Pruning of grape vines was underway.

The pomegranate harvest neared completion. The persimmon and kiwifruit harvests continued.

The wine grape harvest along the Central Coast was nearing the end.

The Valencia orange harvest was completed as the Navel orange and mandarin harvests picked up in the San Joaquin Valley. Lemons were picked in the desert region along with Meyer lemons in Tulare County.

The olive harvest remained underway. Blueberry and raspberry nursery plants were shipped from Tulare County.

Nut crops

The almond, pecan, walnut, and pistachio harvests were completed across California.  As part of post-harvest maintenance, zinc, fertilizers, and herbicides were applied, plus some pruning of orchards.

Vegetable crops

Good growing conditions were generally reported. Carrots, cabbage, and lettuce were harvested in Kern County. Some tomato and endive harvests continued in Tulare County. Beds were prepared for next year’s tomato crop.

Fumigating, cultivating, shaping of beds, weed control, and pre-irrigation preparations for next year’s onion crop were also underway.

The planting of winter vegetables continued with good conditions reported for all winter vegetables in Fresno County. Sutter County reported emerging onions.