The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released May 1, 2012.


A high pressure ridge was just east of California at the start of the week of April 23. Warm, dry conditions prevailed across most of the state through Tuesday.

A low pressure system moving in from the Gulf of Alaska pushed a cold front across the state on Wednesday. Cool, wet conditions continued through Thursday. The system brought rain and mountain snow to the entire state.

By Friday, the system had mostly departed and built high pressure with an increasing off-shore flow with dry, warm conditions for the weekend.

Field crops

Above average temperatures aided the maturation progress for wheat. Nearly the entire crop was headed. Some early-planted grain was cut for hay and silage.

Wheat conditions were rated mostly good to excellent. Oat hay cutting continued.

Warmer soil temperatures benefited corn and cotton. Cotton producers planted at a rapid pace. Cotton producers have planted over half of the crop. Some replanting was reported.

Rice producers made final preparations for planting.

Fruit crops

Plum, prune, peach, apricot, and nectarine fruit developed while growers evaluated freeze and hail damage from a few weeks ago. Harvest began in a few early peach varieties. Cherries developed as growers sprayed for the oriental fruit fly.

Weed treatments and bloom spray applications continued in stone fruit orchards.

Grape and kiwi vines grew fast as temperatures increased. Pomegranates and persimmons leafed out. Apples bloomed and leafed out. Blueberries were picked and packed in Tulare County.

Orange and avocado trees were in bloom in early locations. Navel oranges, tangerines, tangelos, and lemons were harvested and packed for export. The harvest of late variety Navel oranges and early Valencia oranges picked up. 

Nut crops

Almond nuts developed. Hail damage was evaluated in the San Joaquin Valley. Heavier than normal drops, possibly due to earlier frost damage, were reported in some areas.

Walnuts were in full bloom as blight applications continued. 

The pistachio bloom ran its course in the Fresno area. Fungicides were applied in some orchards.

Vegetable crops

Fresno County reported spring vegetable harvest. 

In Stanislaus County, tomatoes were planted while the spinach and broccoli harvests continued.

San Joaquin County reported asparagus harvest. Processing tomatoes were transplanted. Onions were planted. 

In Siskiyou County, dehydrator onions were planted.