The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
A high pressure ridge brought an early taste of spring to California at the start of the week with warm and dry conditions across the state. A weak Pacific cold front skirted the northern tier of California Tuesday. The system spread a few light showers to the far northern coast while most of most the state remained dry and mild.
Wednesday was the warmest day of the week with highs reaching the 80s in some areas of the north and the 90s in Southern California. Another weak cold front brushed Northern California Wednesday night. The system had very little effect on the weather with most of the state having dry and very mild conditions through the middle part of the week.
The first day of spring, Saturday, was dry statewide with above normal temperatures. One last cold front spread some rain over the northern coast on Sunday with some showers extending into the northern mountain ranges. The rest of the state was dry and warm.
Weed control continued in winter wheat, rye, oat, and alfalfa fields. Alfalfa cutting continued. Winter forage crops are in good condition. Rice fields were drained and pre-plant herbicides were applied. Rice straw was burned as conditions allowed.
Pre-plant operations continued for corn, cotton, and dry bean fields. Cotton beds received herbicide treatments in preparation for planting. Irrigation districts began to turn on the water which allowed field irrigation to start.
Widespread bloom continued for plum, prune, peach, cherry, and other early varieties of stone fruit across the Central Valley. Fungicide sprays were ongoing for blooming stone fruit trees.
The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and early Valencia oranges continued. Herbicide sprays were applied in Central Valley grape vineyards. Warmer temperatures aided the budding of wine grape vineyards along the Central Coast. Strawberry fields set fruit in the San Joaquin Valley.
The almond bloom neared conclusion throughout the Central Valley as heavy petal fall continued. Almond development has appeared healthy throughout the bloom. Some brown rot has been observed in almond orchards due to wet weather earlier in the season. Walnut blight applications began as growers prepared for the upcoming walnut bloom.
Field work took place and pre-plant herbicide treatments were applied in Sutter County. Imperial County’s winter produce was almost all harvested except for salad products and a few fields of organic spring mix and spinach. The carrot harvest was also coming to an end.
In San Joaquin County, the asparagus harvest progressed with excellent yields. The radicchio and asparagus harvests continued in Merced County. Farmers began to plant watermelon fields.
In Tulare County, the field spinach harvest began. Squash was planted under plastic hot caps. Fields were prepared for summer vegetables.
Tomato planting was more than halfway complete in Fresno County. Carrots were nearly all planted and irrigated for germination. Onions were fertilized and herbicides were applied through sprinkler systems.
Most vegetables harvested in Kern County were lettuces and spinach plus some carrots.