The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif., released Nov. 7, 2011.

Weather

California’s weather underwent a significant change the week of Oct. 31. Starting with mild temperatures statewide, the weather became more like winter with chilly temperatures, widespread showers, and even a foot or more of snow in the Northern Sierra by the end of the week.

The week began with some scattered light showers across Northern California as a minor weather disturbance brushed the state. Southern California was unaffected by this system.

By Thursday, a cold front driven by a low pressure trough moved into the area. This brought precipitation to the entire state by Thursday. A broad trough of low pressure brought very cool temperatures and lowered snow levels significantly. Over a foot of snow fell over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The cool, wet conditions persisted through Sunday morning when the low pressure finally began to shift east.

Field crops

Nearly two-thirds of the California cotton crop was harvested by Nov. 6. Producers made progress with the harvest as some had advanced to a second picking.

Rice was harvested. Producers remained busy baling rice straw.

Cutting of corn for grain and sorghum for silage continued.

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

The large lima bean harvest was winding down. Fall ground preparation continued.

Over two-thirds of winter wheat crop has been planted and nearly half has emerged. Winter wheat crop conditions were rated mostly good to excellent.

The sweet potato harvest was winding down in Merced County.

Fruit crops

The table grape harvest continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) due to late maturity, although it was finally beginning to wind down. The SJV raisin grape harvest was nearly complete. The wine grape harvest was coming to a close.

Asian pears continued to be harvested. The Fuyu and Hachiya persimmon harvests continued. Pineapple quinces, figs, kiwifruit, and apples were harvested. The pomegranate harvest continued. The olive harvest was nearly complete in the Southern SJV.

Lemons and Star Ruby grapefruit were picked. The Satsuma mandarin harvest continued. The tangerine harvest began to pick up. The Navel orange harvest began with good maturity reported. 

Nut crops

The harvests of walnuts and almonds continued. Walnuts in the Southern SJV were shaken for a second time. The pistachio harvest was beginning to slow. Post-harvest clean up and pruning began.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported carrots, fall potatoes, and organic vegetables harvested. In Tulare County, commercial tomatoes and peppers were harvested while spinach and other winter vegetables were planted.

Fresno County reported broccoli, lettuce, winter onions, and garlic planted. In Merced County, tomato and radicchio harvests continued.