The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
At the start of the week, a low pressure system off the Washington coast drove a vigorous cold front through California, spreading rain, wind, and cool temperatures. The low pressure quickly shifted east and a high pressure ridge developed over southern California resulting in a warming and drying trend for the state during the middle part of the week.
On Thursday, a weak storm system brushed the northern coast. This system brought showers to the North Coast, and spread some clouds and breezy winds across the rest of northern California. The system did not impact weather in southern California.
Weak high pressure brought cool and dry conditions to most of California on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, another strong low pressure system reached California. Another cold front pushed across the state bringing gusty winds, widespread showers, and unseasonably cool temperatures.
Barley, oat, and wheat fields continued to mature. Weed control continued in winter wheat, rye, oat, and alfalfa fields. Wheat and oats continued to head out. Winter forage crops were harvested for silage.
Dryland crops continued to benefit from recent showers. Rice fields were leveled and pre-plant herbicides were applied. Producers continued the first cutting of alfalfa in the Central Valley.
Corn and cotton planting continued. Some cotton fields received irrigation before planting. Sunflower field preparation and planting took place. Fertilizer was applied to sugar beet fields. Safflower and garbanzo bean growth continued.
The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, and lemons continued normally as the grapefruit harvest neared completion. The cherry bloom was almost finished.
There were fungicide and fertilizer applications in grape vineyards in the Central Valley. The early strawberry harvest continued as fruit set continued. Shredding, thinning, and fungicide applications were ongoing in stone fruit orchards.
Recent cool and wet weather limited disease and pest concerns in almond orchards, though growers continued to plan fungicide spraying and pest trap placements. Irrigation was ongoing where precipitation was less abundant.
Walnut blight applications continued as early walnut varieties began to bloom. Blooming also began in pistachio orchards. Growers began applying fungicide sprays.
Ground preparation and processing tomato transplanting occurred in Colusa County. Sutter County producers applied herbicide treatments. Grounds were prepared and the planting of tomato transplants began.
The asparagus harvest progressed in San Joaquin and Merced counties. In Merced, bell pepper, tomato, and watermelon planting continued.
Spring onions from transplants were harvested and shipped from Imperial County. Summer onions were about a month away. Sweet corn is expected to be harvested in the next few weeks.
In Tulare County, vegetable beds were prepared for the upcoming season. The planting of eggplant, bitter melon, string beans, and other vegetables took place in hot houses. Some early planted zucchini and yellow squash were harvested. Onions and garlic progressed well, but cooler temperatures slowed growth.
Processing tomatoes were transplanted in Fresno County. Lettuce and other spring vegetables showed good signs of growth. Weeding and fungicide application took place on the onion crop.