The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento released July 17, 2012.


The week of July 9 began with near normal weather conditions for mid-July with clear skies overall and some stratus along the Coast. Daytime highs along the Coast were in the 60’s while highs in the Central Valley ranged from 95 degrees to 105 degrees. Southern California was in the 70’s and 80’s. Desert readings ranged from 110 to 123 degrees at Death Valley.

Tuesday through Thursday included a heat wave in the Central Valley and desert regions due to strong high pressure and no intrusion of marine air. Highs in the valley ranged from 100 degrees in the Delta to around 107 degrees in Fresno.

The desert was very hot with 116 degrees near Palm Springs and 128 degrees at Death Valley.

By Friday, near normal conditions returned to most of California  with readings similar to Monday with 60’s along the coast, upper 80’s and 90’s in the valley, and around 100 degrees in the desert.

The only unusual weather element of the week occurred Friday. Southern California developed thunderstorms in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Monica, and Santa Barbara counties with rain, hail, lightning, and gusty winds.

Precipitation totals ranged from 0.01 inches in Los Angeles to 0.07 inches in Riverside. Rain is very rare in the summer in the urban regions of Southern California.

Field crops

Cotton showed good fruit retention and development progressed well. Many fields were irrigated last week. More than three-quarters of the cotton crop was squared. Nearly half of the crop set bolls. 

Corn for grain grew well. Some fields had tassels as corn for silage was harvested. 

Cotton and rice conditions were rated mostly good to excellent. 

The entire wheat crop was harvested.

Alfalfa was cut, raked, and baled. Producers across the state were between the second to fourth cuttings. 

Row crops were cultivated. Garbanzo beans dried down in preparation for harvest.

Fruit crops

The peach, plum, and nectarine harvests continued as the apricot harvest slowed down. The cling peach harvest was expected to start soon. Prunes had a hard time with extremely high temperatures.

Grapes in the Central Valley matured well, increased in size, and gained color. Grape growers treated mildew with sulfur. Growers in the Napa Valley applied the second European grapevine moth insecticide applications.  The table grape harvest in the Coachella Valley was wrapping up.

Apples, kiwis, figs, jujubes, and pomegranates grew well. The olive bloom was complete and the fruit sized. 

Strawberries and blueberries were picked and packed in the San Joaquin Valley. 

The harvests of Valencia oranges, lemons, and grapefruit continued. The removal of netting on tangerine and mandarin groves was complete. The late Navel orange harvest was wrapping up.

Nut crops

Almond hull split continued as growers applied hull split sprays. 

There was good development in walnut, pistachio and pecan orchards. Walnuts were sprayed for weeds, coddling moth, and husk fly.

Navel orangeworm activity has been high in pistachios.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported carrot and melon harvests.

In Fresno County, onions, garlic, and processing tomatoes were harvested, plus beets, bittermelon, bell peppers, choys, chards, kales, cucumbers, daikon, eggplant, fava beans, green onions, beans, herbs, lemon grass, spinach, squash, tomatillos, turnips, zucchini, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Harvest was complete for asparagus and artichoke.

Madera County reported the processing tomato harvest.

In Stanislaus County, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, greenhouse tomatoes, garlic, onions, herbs, squash, and cantaloupes were harvested.

Onions, watermelons, and cucumbers were harvested in San Joaquin County.

In Siskiyou County, onions grew well. Treatments for insects and diseases were applied.