The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
The week of June 21 in weather began with the easing of an onshore flow that cooled the coastal and delta regions slightly below normal. The early week saw the arrival of an upper level low pressure system that increased cloud cover and increased upper level moisture content, and further dropped temperatures below normal.
Very little precipitation was observed due to the upper level nature of this system and the dry lower atmosphere. Following the passage of the upper low, a powerful high level ridge settled in and caused temperatures to soar well above normal for all but the coastal regions of California. Much of the state’s interior rose into the triple digits.
Wheat, oat, and barley harvests continued. Alfalfa hay was cut and baled. Hay production ranged from the first cutting in Siskiyou County to the fourth cutting in Tulare County.
Corn and sorghum were planted and fertilized. Earlier planted corn began to tassel. Cotton fields were fertilized, cultivated, and irrigated. Fields in the southern San Joaquin Valley (SJV) were treated for lygus.
Rye harvest started in Merced County. Rice fields received fertilizer and herbicide applications. Irrigation frequency increased as the temperatures warmed up.
In the SJV, the picking of Valencia oranges continued normally as the Navel orange harvest neared conclusion. The lemon harvest was ongoing along the coast. Citrus tree budding increased as a result of warmer weather as the seasonal fruit drop occurred normally.
The strawberry harvest was ongoing in the Central Valley as the blueberry and blackberry harvests slowed. The apricot harvest continued as the picking of peaches, plums, and nectarines began. Herbicides were applied in prune orchards. The SJV olive bloom ended.
Fruit orchards were irrigated across the state to decrease stress and promote development. In addition to irrigation, orchards, groves, and vineyards were pruned. Fungicides, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides were applied as necessary.
Almond orchards developed and insect presence was limited. Hull split is expected later this year due to cooler temperatures earlier in the season. Herbicide applications along with codling moth sprays were made in walnut orchards. Irrigation and weed control was ongoing in nut orchards in the Central Valley.
Broccoli and cauliflower matured in Tulare County. Early-planted melons grew well. Sweet corn and tomatoes developed slower than normal due to the weather.
Bell pepper, cantaloupe, honeydew, tomato, and watermelon fields were planted in Merced County. Harvests of squash and parsley progressed. In Kern County, processing tomatoes were behind schedule because of cool spring temperatures.
Visible growth in the onion crop was reported in Siskiyou County. Tomato transplanting, field work, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County. Onions were harvested and packed in San Joaquin County. The sweet corn crop was progressing well and tomatoes were about two weeks behind schedule after the moist spring weather.
Tomatoes were all planted on the west side of Stanislaus County. Late spring rains caused some replanting. Onions and garlic in Fresno County were irrigated. Some early fields were prepared for the final stages before harvest. Carrots were irrigated and treated with fungicide.