The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif., released Oct. 24, 2011.

Weather

High pressure influenced California for the beginning of the week of Oct. 17, keeping dry and slightly warmer-than-normal conditions for Monday into Tuesday. A weak upper-level low pressure system passed through Tuesday night into Wednesday promoting a 5 to 10 degree dip in temperatures, slightly breezy conditions, and the presence of stratus clouds over the Central Valley. Fog was a factor for low-lying areas Wednesday and Thursday. 

A warming trend began Thursday and very little precipitation was observed throughout the entire week. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday had slightly above normal temperatures again due to the re-building of high pressure into California.

Field crops

Favorable weather conditions allowed producers to make excellent harvest progress throughout the week. More than half of the rice crop was harvested. 

Cotton defoliation was in various stages. Harvest continued as nearly a third of the crop was harvested. Cotton and rice conditions maintained mostly good to excellent rating.

Black-eye bean harvest was nearly complete. Cutting of corn for grain and sorghum for silage continued. 

Alfalfa producers cut the final crop of the year while some producers were able to get a second cutting off Sudangrass. Fall ground preparation continued where fall crops were harvested. More than one quarter of the winter wheat crop was planted and some emerged. Winter wheat crop conditions were mostly good to excellent.

Fruit crops

Peach, nectarine, and plum harvests were complete except for a few late varieties. Orchard removal and pruning was underway. 

The table grape harvest continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) with Red Globe, Autumn Royal, Crimson Seedless, and Autumn King the main varieties harvested. 

The raisin grape harvest, including Thompson Seedless, continued in the SJV. 

The wine grape harvest continued. On the North Coast, white wine grape harvest was complete while the red wine grape harvest was still in progress.

Pineapple quinces, figs, kiwifruit, Asian pears, and apples were harvested. The Early Wonderful pomegranate harvest began. The olive harvest continued.

Citrus grove maintenance continued with irrigation and treatment of citrus pests. Lemons and Star Ruby grapefruit were picked. Satsuma mandarins were picked in Kern County. The Navel orange harvest had not started. Valencia oranges were exported from Tulare County.   

Nut crops

Harvesting of walnuts and pistachios was in full swing. Some pistachio orchards were shaken a second time. New pistachio trees were planted. Almond harvest continued. Growers reported above normal volumes because of a heavy crop set. 

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported lettuce, chard, spinach, and carrots harvested. In Tulare County, late summer vegetables were finished and growers were getting fields ready for the fall and winter crop.

Fresno County reported broccoli, cantaloupe, and lettuce in different stages of harvest. Carrot fields were irrigated and fungicides were applied. Broccoli for seed was planted.

In Merced County, the cantaloupe harvest was winding down and the honeydew harvest was complete. Tomato, bell pepper, and watermelon harvests continued. 

In San Joaquin County, fresh market and processing tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins were harvested. Siskiyou County reported the continued harvest of dehydrator onions.