The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
Monday (May 24) was dry with below normal temperatures. A series of mostly weak weather systems brought light to moderate rain to the northern half of California Tuesday through Friday with continued below normal temperatures. High pressure built over the weekend with dry weather and warmer temperatures.
Cool temperatures continued to slow the growth of cotton plus rice and other small grains. Some grain fields suffered damage from frost in northern California.
Pest pressure increased in cotton fields. Rice crop tillage was finishing, while planting and herbicide applications continued. The oat and wheat harvests continued.
Alfalfa, oats, and other forages were cut, baled, or green chopped in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Alfalfa cutting varied from the first in northern California to the third cutting in southern California. Some hay that was down received rain. Hay fields in Kern County were sprayed for yellow stripe armyworms.
Corn fields were planted and sprayed for weeds. Sunflower and dry bean fields were planted in the Sacramento Valley.
In the SJV, the picking of Valencia oranges continued normally as the Navel orange and lemon harvests slowed. Citrus groves were pruned.
The olive bloom was coming to an end. The strawberry harvest continued as the blueberry harvest picked up speed.
In Napa, wind fans for grapes were used due to cold weather. Fungicide, herbicide, and fertilizer applications plus irrigation were ongoing.
Hail damage was reported on pears and cling peaches in the Central Valley. Damage from rain was reported on nearly 40 percent of the cherry crop in some areas of Yuba County. Damage was also seen in other parts of California. Male kiwi vines were pruned.
Cool weather delayed development in almond orchards though the trees remained healthy and insect presence was limited. Orchards were sprayed.
Blight and herbicide applications, along with irrigation, were ongoing in walnut orchards. The walnut, pistachio, and pecan blooms continued toward completion. Pistachios in Kern County had some bug damage and growers sprayed accordingly.
Several growers in Siskiyou County were faced with the decision of whether or not to replant onions after cold, wet weather damaged the emerging crop.
Some melon fields in Imperial County were harvested. The watermelon harvest was still a few weeks away.
Spring planting advanced in San Joaquin County. The asparagus harvest continued past the normal season. In Tulare County, the squash harvest began. Sweet corn emerged and was developing relatively well despite lingering cold temperatures.
Onions and garlic in Fresno County were sizing up nicely. Processing tomatoes grew at a faster pace, but were still suffering from irregular growth and heavy disease pressures resulting in reduced sets and expensive weed controls. Carrots were irrigated, fertilized, and treated with fungicides.
Carrots and lettuce were harvested in Kern County. Even with increased fungicide use, yellow striped armyworms were seen on the processing tomato crop plus some loopers and fruit worm.
In Merced County, fields of bell peppers, cantaloupe, honeydew, tomato, radicchio, parsley, and watermelon were planted. Some processing tomato fields were sprayed for thrips, but overall the crop looked great.
The processing tomato harvest in Kings County was running late with the first harvest projected in early July. The crop appeared healthy and was setting well despite the timing setbacks.