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 weak high pressure ridge brought dry and mild conditions to southern California while a cold front brushed northern California, resulting in scattered light precipitation for the northern half of the state.
A low pressure area formed off the coast during the week and drifted south along the coast. This feature sent several weak frontal systems through northern California during the week bringing widespread precipitation to the north along with gusty winds.
Eventually, the low pressure system moved far enough south to bring some light showers to southern California as well.
By the end of the week, the low pressure system had moved south and east, then out of California, and dry and mild conditions returned to southern California. Another low pressure trough developed off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The system sent a strong cold front into northern California bringing wet and windy conditions to the north for Sunday.
Barley, oat, and wheat fields continued to mature. Weed control continued in winter wheat, rye, oat, and alfalfa fields. Warm conditions in southern California required the irrigation schedule for wheat to shorten. Wheat and oats continued to head out. Some wheat was harvested for silage.
Rice fields were plowed and pre-plant herbicides were applied.
Alfalfa continued to be harvested. Some hay was rained on while down. Corn and cotton were planted before the weekend moisture. Sunflower field preparation and planting took place.
The bloom for plum, prune, peach, and cherry was completed in most of the Central Valley. The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, and lemons continued normally. The grapefruit harvest neared completion. The harvesting of early Valencia orange varieties increased.
There was healthy budding in wine grape vineyards along the Central Coast. Grape vineyards showed healthy development in the Central Valley as well. Pruning and row cultivation neared completion in vineyard grapevines.
The strawberry harvest began in some parts of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) as many fields continued to set fruit. Some strawberry fruit showed irregular shapes due to cold weather. Blueberries bloomed and developed well in some SJV fields.
The almond bloom ended throughout the Central Valley with reports of a healthy set. Pest traps were placed in almond orchards. Irrigation was ongoing in areas where winter moisture was less abundant. Recent cooler temperatures lessened the concern of disease infection in almond orchards this spring.
Walnut blight applications continued as growers prepared for the upcoming walnut bloom. Pistachio orchards showed good development while growers prepared to apply fungicide sprays.
The harvest of leaf lettuce began in Monterey County. Cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and artichokes were harvested. Field work, pre-plant herbicide treatments, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County.
Wet conditions in San Joaquin County lowered the quantity and quality of the asparagus crop. Asparagus was harvested in Merced County, where tomato, bell pepper, and watermelon fields were planted.
In Tulare County, fields were prepared for warm weather vegetables. Squash, tomatoes, and peppers, and sweet corn were planted. In Kern County, carrots, lettuce, and other vegetables were planted.
The asparagus and spring broccoli harvests continued in Fresno County. The harvest of spring lettuce began. Leafy vegetables, including collard and mustard greens, bok choy, chard, kale, gailon, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, daikon, green onions, herbs and snow, sugar, and snap peas were harvested.
Spring crops of onions, garlic, and broccoli grew well and were treated for weeds. Tomatoes and carrots planted from seed grew well. The transplanting of processing tomatoes continued.
Early seeded sweet corn progressed as new fields were seeded. Growers prepared subsequent fields for planting or transplanting. Hot caps were placed on some tomatoes. Beds were prepared to plant melons. Watermelon planting began.