The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., field office:
Dry conditions were observed statewide through the middle of the week under the influence of high pressure. Temperatures were well above normal at most interior locations with abundant sunshine. Temperatures began to trend downward around the middle portion of the week as high pressure developed off Northern California.
Scattered showers began to affect the North Coast and northern mountain areas with the first passing weather system around Nov. 5. Subsequent weather systems continued to affect the far north though the end of the week with some far north coastal areas receiving more than an inch of rain.
Southern California remained dry through the entire week except for some spotty coastal drizzle.
• Field crops
Rice harvest neared completion with good yields being reported. Harvested rice straw was incorporated through burning, chopping, disking, baling, and flooding.
Ground preparation for winter wheat, oats, and barley continued. Corn harvest for grain and silage continued. Harvest was slow in corn fields that were affected by the Oct. 13 storm.
Sunflower harvest continued in Sutter County.
Alfalfa continued to be cut and baled though growth slowed down. Milo harvest was completed in Fresno County.
Cotton harvest continued; harvested fields were shredded and disked. The dry bean harvest continued with some fields being baled for straw. Field work continued in preparation for 2010 row crops.
• Fruit crops
The wine grape harvest along the Central Coast neared completion as minor picking of table grapes continued in the Central Valley. Wonderful pomegranates and Satsuma mandarins continued to be picked in the San Joaquin Valley. The kiwi harvest wound down as the season approached its end.
The navel orange harvest continued to pick up in the Central Valley. The lemon harvest continued in the desert region. Normal spraying and maintenance continued in orchards which included early tree pruning and pre-emergent spray applications.
• Nut crops
A small amount of almond hulling and stockpile fumigations occurred as the season neared completion. The walnut, pecan, and pistachio harvests continued to wind down in the Central Valley. Pruning and maintenance of harvested orchards continued including some applications of zinc sulfate in almond orchards.
• Vegetable crops
The head lettuce harvest was almost complete in Monterey County. Leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery were harvested. The harvest of late cucurbits in Colusa County was almost finished.
In Imperial County, the first spring mix salad product was delivered to the cooler with more production to follow. A short sweet corn harvest was expected in a few weeks. San Joaquin’s tomato harvest was mostly complete with strong product demand.
There were a few remaining fresh market tomato fields left in Stanislaus County. Tulare County’s fall pole cucumbers continued to be picked, but harvest operations were winding down. Broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach were progressing well. Merced County’s basil harvest was completed but the fresh market tomato and radicchio harvests continued.
Cilantro, eggplant, green beans, plus snow and sugar peas were picked in Fresno County. Summer vegetables and melons, including cucumbers, long beans, peppers, bitter melon, radishes, squash, and tomatoes continued to be picked and packed.
The bell pepper harvest continued while carrots, garlic, processing tomatoes, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon were winding down. The onion harvest was completed.
The fall lettuce harvest was in full swing on the west side. Winter vegetables including beets, choy, chard, daikon, kale, and turnips were improving in quality and quantity. Bed preparation for garlic, lettuce, and onions was completed. Some garlic had already been planted.
Growers were cultivating and weeding. Some were treating broccoli fields prior to planting and others began harvest. Tomato drip tape was removed for recycling.