Here is the latest California Crop Weather report, from the National Agricultural Statistics Service – Sacramento, Calif. field office.
A trough of low pressure slowly moved across the northern part of the California throughout most of last week. The system brought unusual cooling and little precipitation during the beginning part of the week. More precipitation came to the region after the second half of the week. Some locations in the valley broke previous rainfall records due to the low pressure bringing sufficient moisture from the Pacific sub-tropical regions.
Valley daytime temperatures reached the mid 70s to lower 80s while the mountains peaked in the 50s and 60s.
A series of thunderstorms aligned mid week across the state to create an unusual event. Brief heavy rain, small-sized hail, and frequent dangerous lightning dominated the sky in the path of these thunderstorms. There were nearly 2,800 lightning strikes recorded on June 6 in northern California.
After the unusual weather was over, the weekend finished up with near normal temperatures across the valley, surrounding foothills, and southern parts of the state.
Snow levels remained above 8,000 feet. Very little snow, if any, fell in the higher elevations through the week.
• Field crops
Wheat harvest slowed this week due to rain. Maturity has been delayed by cooler weather.
Rice fields were mostly planted and emerging; aerial herbicide applications were underway.
Dry lima bean and corn planting continued. Oats continued to be cut and baled. The third cutting of alfalfa for hay was finishing up. Sorghum and safflower were growing well.
Cotton growth slowed due to cooler weather; ammonia was applied in cotton fields. Sugarbeet harvest continued.
• Fruit crops
Cherry harvest continued. Some loss of fruit to splitting from rain was reported. Sulfur was applied to dried plums (prunes). Shake thinning and pruning were observed. Most orchards had moderate to heavy set. Treatments for aphids and peach twig borer were applied to dried plum and peach orchards.
Some thinning of peaches was observed plus applications of sulfur and fungicides. Apricot, nectarine, and plum harvests continued.
Grape vines were fertilized and irrigated. Fungicide applications continued as normal. Grapes were reported in full bloom in Lake County.
Citrus growers were irrigating trees to reduce stress and increase fruit set. Some Tulare county Clementine producers covered trees with netting to keep bees from pollinating the trees.
• Nut crops
Nutlets hardened well throughout most of the state. Almonds, pistachio, walnut, and pecan orchards were irrigated. Herbicides and insecticides were applied to walnuts and pistachios.
• Vegetable crops
Hail in Fresno County destroyed acres of tomatoes and onions. Carrots were beaten down a bit but garlic was okay and on its last irrigation. Planting of fresh market and processing tomato fields continued in Madera County.
Tulare County’s certified producers were picking tomatoes, peppers, and squash for sale at farmers’ markets.
Broccoli and cauliflower were maturing and early planted melons were growing well. Sweet corn was planted and ground preparation continued for later summer vegetable planting. Irrigation and maintenance activities progressed in Sutter County, as onions were treated for thrips and aphids. Weed treatments were applied to sweet corn.
Mildew was found on tomatoes in Madera County. In Stanislaus County, the squash harvest continued on the West side. Bees that were pollinating squash were moved to cantaloupe which was progressing well.