The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif., released Oct. 31, 2011.

Weather

The week of Oct. 24 began with near-normal temperatures and dry conditions for California. 

A colder, upper-level trough passed through the area Monday night and Tuesday bringing gusty and dry northerly winds across California in its wake on Tuesday into Wednesday. This trough also brought Tuesday and Wednesday daytime temperatures slightly below normal for most of the state before warming near normal again on Thursday. Offshore winds continued the remainder of the week with very dry conditions.

Temperatures trended near-normal from building high pressure. Temperatures were slightly above normal over the weekend as the state remained dominated by the high pressure.

Field crops

Another week of favorable weather conditions allowed producers to make excellent harvest progress. 

The cotton harvest continued at a quick pace throughout the week as over half of the crop was harvested by Sunday. Virtually all cotton bolls were opened.

About a quarter of the rice crop was harvested during the week and about three quarters of the total crop was harvested. Producers remained busy baling rice straw.

Cotton conditions remained mostly good to excellent while rice crop conditions declined slightly and were rated mostly fair to good.

Cutting of corn for grain and sorghum for silage continued. 

Alfalfa producers continued with the final cutting of the year while some producers continued cutting Sudangrass.

Fall ground preparation continued where fall crops were harvested. Over half of the winter wheat crop had been planted and nearly a third had emerged. Winter wheat crop conditions were mostly good to excellent.

Fruit crops

The peach, nectarine, and plum harvests were complete except for a few late varieties. Orchard and tree removals and pruning were underway. 

The table grape harvest continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) due to the late maturity. The SJV raisin grape harvest was nearly complete. 

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

Pineapple quinces, figs, kiwifruit, Asian pears, persimmons, and apples were harvested. The pomegranate harvest continued. The olive harvest moved ahead.

Citrus grove maintenance continued with irrigation and the treatment of citrus pests. Lemons and Star Ruby grapefruit were picked. The Satsuma mandarin harvest continued. The Navel orange harvest began. Valencia oranges were exported from Tulare County.   

Nut crops

The harvests of walnuts and pistachios continued. Some pistachio orchards were shaken for the second time. Pistachio nursery stock was planted.

The almond harvest continued with growers reporting above normal volumes due to heavy crop set. 

Vegetable crops

Carrots were harvested in Kern County. In Tulare County, commercial tomatoes and peppers were harvested while certified producers were planting fall and winter vegetables.

Fresno County reported broccoli, lettuce, winter onions, and garlic plantings. In Merced County, the bell pepper, cantaloupe, and watermelon harvests were complete while the tomato harvest continued and the radicchio harvest began.

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