The latest California Crop Weather report from the California Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service released May 2.


A progressive weather pattern brought dry conditions and seasonable temperatures to California the week of April 25. The week began with a wet start as an upper low brought light precipitation to the northern half of the state Monday.

California dried out under the influence of two high pressure systems for the remainder of the week. Many areas in California saw the driest April on record.

Cooler than average temperatures prevailed earlier in the week, but a general warming trend was observed in the latter half of the week. Amplification of high pressure over California allowed for temperatures to rise to and above normal during the weekend.

May began on a warm start as much of California experienced the warmest temperatures of the year Sunday.

Field crops

Favorable weather conditions quickened the pace of field work. Spring planting moved forward throughout the state. Rice fields were planted in the Sacramento Valley. Other rice field operations included straw burning, tillage, and leveling.

The first cutting of alfalfa was at various stages of harvest and baled. Sunflower seed crop planting continued. Winter wheat and oats headed out along with other small grain crops. Wheat silage harvest continued.

Cotton was planted. Corn and sorghum seed was shipped in for planting.

Spring field work continued with weed control in small grain and alfalfa fields, pre-plant herbicide applications, and spring tillage to prepare seedbeds. Prune orchards were irrigated.

Fruit crops

The Valencia orange and lemon harvests continued in the San Joaquin Valley. The Navel orange, grapefruit, and mandarin harvests neared completion. Clementine trees in Tulare County were covered with netting to prevent the cross-pollination of trees.

Early cherries were packed in Southern California while bloom ended and fruit development continued in the Central Valley.

Grapes were at various stages of growth from bud break to flowering. Thinning continued in fruit orchards, as well as weed and rodent control.

Nut crops

Almond orchards were reported in good condition. Some growers started early spraying where mite numbers were significant while others were preparing. Along with almonds, walnut and pistachio orchards were irrigated and managed for weeds.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported carrot harvest and planting since this is a year round crop. Tulare County reported cooler weather has affected fruit development of early squash and harvest volume. Planting and preparing vegetable beds continued. Cucumbers started to size up slowly as the weather warmed.

Fresno County reported good tomato blooms, lettuce was planted, carrots received herbicide treatments, and weeds were cleaned out of the vegetable beds. In Merced County, bell pepper, cantaloupe, honeydew, and tomato planting continued. Asparagus harvest continued.

San Joaquin County reported asparagus production in full swing. Processing and fresh market tomatoes were transplanted. Onions were planted.

Field work, pre-plant herbicide treatments, and ground preparation continued in Sutter County. Tomatoes were transplanted along with herbicide applications in Colusa County. In Siskiyou County, spring planting was in full force with over half of the dehydrator onion planting completed.