The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
Weather patterns were a roller coaster ride this week in California as a series of Pacific storm systems made the way through the West Coast. The first in the series was moving out of California at the start of the week with scattered light precipitation reported.
Southern California enjoyed a brief break in the rain Tuesday while the next system began to spread showers across the north. Moderate to heavy rain and mountain snows fell across northern and central California midweek while light showers began to reach southern California.
There was another break in the precipitation Thursday in the north, and Friday in the south. Then another significant storm approached the West Coast. The center of the storm hit southern California where heavy rains were reported on Saturday. Light to moderate precipitation fell across the north.
Sunday included a high pressure ridge shift into northern California bringing dry and mild weather while light showers lingered across southern California.
Operators carried out field operations in preparation for spring planting between showers and as field conditions allowed. Weed control continued in wheat, rye, and oat fields. Early planted grains began heading.
Alfalfa fields were treated with herbicide. The first cutting of hay is expected to begin soon. Dryland and irrigated crops crops benefitted from continued rainfall. Rice fields continued to be drained.
Plum, prune, peach, cherry, and other early varieties of stone fruit were in full bloom. Stone fruit grafting continued in the San Joaquin Valley. Vineyard pruning continued.
The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, grapefruit, and lemons continued. Olive trees were pruned.
Early almonds were at full bloom with late varieties approaching half bloom. Due to recent moisture and anticipated warmer weather, brown rot remained a concern. Most growers have applied protective sprays to limit the impact of bloom disease. As weather conditions allow, additional sprays will be applied. Growers were concerned about hampered bee pollination activity due to the weather. Herbicide applications continued for walnut trees.
In Kern County, carrots were harvested in some fields and planted in others. Rains delayed the carrot planting in Fresno County, but newly-planted garlic and onions showed good progress.
In Tulare County, winter onions matured well along with spinach fields which were only weeks away from harvest. Planting beds were prepared for spring and summer vegetables. Squash was planted under plastic tunnels.
The radicchio harvest continued in Merced County. Field work, pre-plant treatments, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County. In San Joaquin County, asparagus was harvested between rains.