The California Crop Weather Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released Jan. 9, 2012.

Weather

California experienced relatively quiet weather the week of Jan. 2 as a high ridge remained along the West Coast, deflecting Pacific storms to the north of the state. 

Generally, very mild afternoon temperatures were the rule across Northern California, including the Central Valley, while temperatures across Southern California were very warm for the time of the year.

The only significant precipitation for the week occurred along the far northern coast on Thursday as a Pacific storm brushed the region producing up to a quarter of an inch of rain. 

The system eventually created a surface high pressure cell over the Great Basin which resulted in a dry, offshore flow for most of California. The winds became strong and dry enough to prompt red flag warnings across the western Sierra and across Southern California Thursday into the weekend.

Field crops

Winter wheat, oats, other small grain fields planted earlier and sprinkler irrigated fields grew vigorously while dry-land fields waited for rain. Growers cultivated seed beds and applied fertilizers and herbicides. New alfalfa fields were seeded.

Fruit crops

Fruit growers waited for rain across the state. Pre-emergent and dormant sprays were on hold due to the lack of moisture. Some orchards were irrigated.

Wine grape vineyards were pruned. Frost late last month finished defoliating vines making pruning easier. 

The persimmon and kiwi harvests were complete. The apple harvest was wrapping up. Very little frost damage has been reported.

The Satsuma mandarin, Owari, and Clementine tangerine harvests continued. Navel orange harvest picked up as internal maturity improved. The Oro Blanco and Melogold grapefruit harvests were winding down. The pummelo harvest began to pick up.

Nut crops

The harvest of walnuts was completed. Finished walnut groves irrigated, pruned, and sprayed. 

Almond tree pruning was completed and stockpiles were hulled. The pistachio harvest was over and tree pruning began.

Vegetable crops

Carrots and cabbage were harvested in Kern County.

Fresno County reported fall lettuce harvest was complete and spring lettuce beds were prepared. The broccoli harvest continued. Growers fumigated and cultivated beds, pre-irrigated, and applied pre-emergent herbicides for next season’s crops as the weather allowed. Winter vegetables were harvested.

In Stanislaus County, broccoli was harvested. Ground preparation continued in Sutter County.