The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
The week started with dry conditions across most of California, except across the Central Valley where cool, foggy weather remained trapped. Southern California enjoyed warm conditions under sunny skies.
By Tuesday (Jan. 12) a cold front moved through northern California and spread rain across the area while southern California remained dry. By Wednesday the “storm door” opened and precipitation spread across the state as another Pacific storm swept the region.
Thursday saw a break in the storms with most of the state enjoying sunny and unseasonably warm weather. Another storm approached late Friday and Saturday spreading precipitation across California over the weekend.
Recent rainfall has made field conditions too wet for machinery in some areas. Moisture has been helpful for dryland crops including oats and other small grains. Winter alfalfa was burned down by herbicide application. Winter wheat and barley also received a boost from the rain. Seeds continue to emerge under favorable conditions. Sugarbeets were restarting growth after earlier frosts. Ground preparation continued for spring crops as allowed by the wet soil conditions.
Grape growers continued pruning vineyards plus shredding, topping, tying, and brush removal in pruned vineyards. Pre-emergent sprays were applied to table grape vineyards.
The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, and grapefruit continued in the Central Valley plus for specialty citrus crops including Blood oranges, Cara Cara navels, and Meyer lemons. The overall lemon harvest continued normally in the desert region and Central Valley. Herbicide sprays were applied in orchards at a faster pace in anticipation of expected heavy rains.
Pruning continued in nut orchards while strip sprays were made in almond orchards in the preparation of bloom sprays. Some nursery nut trees were harvested.
Early in the week dry weather allowed harvest and field preparation to continue. Wet conditions late in the week hindered some harvesting of vegetables and field activities.
Kern County’s cabbage, lettuce, onions, and carrots progressed in the fields. The radicchio harvest continued in Merced County and the field preparation for the spring planting of radicchio was underway. Sweet potato fumigation continued.
The harvests of winter vegetables in Fresno County, including beets, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, daikon, eggplant, green onions, herbs, choys, chards, and kale, was in full swing. Growers applied pre-emergent herbicides in preparation for 2010 crops.
Field fumigation for onion, melon, and tomato fields continued. Growers were also cultivating, shaping beds, controlling weeds, and pre-irrigating for spring planting. The planting of processing onions was near completion. Spring lettuce and garlic were also planted. The harvest of baby carrots was completed with good quality and yield reported.
In Tulare County, broccoli, greenhouse cucumbers, squash, and cauliflower were harvested. Ground preparation continued in Sutter County. Broccoli and cabbage were harvested in Stanislaus County.