The latest California agriculture update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif. Field Office:

Weather

California was dry with mainly clear skies this past week. Temperatures rose drastically through the week for most of the state. Daily afternoon highs went from about 10 degrees below normal to 10 to 15 degrees above normal by the end of the week. This change was caused by a strong high pressure ridge building over the state.

Field crops

Wheat harvest was near completion with above average yields reported in some areas. Farmers moved forward on the fourth cutting and baling of alfalfa. Winter forage and small grains were also cut for hay and silage. The first cut of Sudan grass started.

Safflower and sunflower continued to bloom. Rice fields continued to be treated with aerial herbicide applications. Chickpea harvest started. Dry and freezer lima bean planting continued.

Focus on corn has started to shift from planting into spraying and irrigation. Cotton square development accelerated with warmer temperatures as some fields continued to be treated for lygus.

Fruit crops

Apricot, nectarine, and Freestone peach orchard maintenance harvests continued along with irrigation, fertilization, and herbicide applications in the Sacramento Valley. Plum and fig harvests continued. Some prunes were damaged from hail in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV).

Spraying grapes with sulfur to control mildew in the SJV continued, along with thinning to optimize light penetration. Grapevine development along the Central Coast was delayed due to the continuation of mild weather, while normal development continued for grapevines on the North Coast.

Strawberry harvest was completed in the SJV as blueberry, blackberry, and boysenberry harvests continued.

Valencia orange harvest neared completion. Irrigation continued in citrus groves in the SJV. Warmer weather also resulted in increased budding of citrus trees in the SJV.

Nut crops

Irrigation continued in SJV almond, pistachio, walnut, and pecan orchards. Codling moth treatments continued for walnuts and trapping for walnut husk fly began in the Sacramento Valley.

Vegetable crops

In the Sacramento Valley, maintenance activities, irrigation, and ground preparation continued and vegetable crops for farmers’ markets were harvested. Thrip and aphid treatments were applied to onions, and carrots were treated for lygus and worms.

Most melon fields were finished in Imperial County. The harvest of summer vegetables was ongoing and included squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and assorted peppers. The melon and sweet corn harvests were also underway.

Fresh market and processing tomato fields continued to be planted in Merced County, where fresh market tomatoes were being harvested. The harvest of spring lettuce was ongoing in Fresno County.