The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released April 23, 2012.

Weather

The week of April 16 began with near normal temperatures and mild weather for most of California. Northwest California received a few tenths to over a half an inch of rainfall Monday into Tuesday with a few disturbances that passed over the northern part of the State. 

By mid-week, Northwest California received a quarter to an inch of additional rainfall while the rest of the state stayed dry and mild. By Thursday, temperatures trended within 5-10 degrees above normal for most of the valleys and foothills.

Additional rainfall occurred in Northwest California plus a couple hundredths of an inch of rain reaching Northeast California in the higher terrain.

The end of the week and into the weekend brought valley temperatures 10-20 degrees above normal for most California locations as high pressure moved into the region. Dry conditions took over the rest of the weekend.

Field crops

Warm and dry weather conditions accelerated the maturation progress for wheat. With over 75 percent of the crop headed, producers reported later planted grain fields were progressing well.

Some early planted grains were cut for hay and silage in preparation for double cropping. Wheat conditions were rated mostly good to excellent.

Oat hay cutting continued. 

Warmer soil temperatures benefited corn and cotton as cotton producers planted at a rapid pace. Cotton producers have planted over 25 percent of the cotton crop.

Rice producers continue preparations for planting.

Fruit crops

Plum, peach, apricot, and nectarine fruit developed. The cherry bloom was complete. Prunes leafed out in Sutter and Yuba Counties. Weed treatments and bloom sprays continued in stone fruit orchards.

In the San Joaquin Valley (SJV), recent hail storms resulted in damage to apricot, peach, and cherry orchards. 

Grape and kiwi vines were in the shoot elongation stage. 

Pomegranates and persimmons leafed out. Apples bloomed and leafed out. Olive groves were pruned.

Orange and avocado trees were in bloom in early locations as bees were moved into citrus groves in preparation of full bloom. Navel oranges, tangerines, tangelos and lemons were harvested and packed for export. The harvests of late variety Navel oranges and early Valencia oranges picked up. 

Nut crops

The almond bloom was over as trees leafed out and nuts grew larger. Hail damage was apparent in a few SJV areas due to recent storms.

Walnuts were in full bloom. Growers applied blight sprays.

Pistachios bloomed in Madera. Walnuts, almonds, and pistachios were exported. 

Vegetable crops

Tulare County reported that onions and sweet peas were harvested and sold at road side stands. Eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and squash were planted.

In Kern County, processing tomatoes and carrots were planted and harvested, respectively.

Fresno County reported broccoli and lettuce harvests were going strong.

In Stanislaus County, tomatoes were planted.

San Joaquin County reported asparagus harvest with limited hail damage. Processing tomatoes were transplanted.

In Sutter County, processing tomato seedlings were planted.