Weather

The start of the week (Sept. 27) found a strong high pressure system moving over California. The high pressure brought hot and dry conditions to most of the state, especially to Southern California where record-breaking heat was reported.

As the week progressed, the high pressure center shifted eastward, but a ridge associated with the high remained over California resulting in continued very warm conditions through midweek with record heat reported in the Central Valley.

By Thursday, a low pressure system arrived off of Baja California. Subtropical air circulating around the low pressure brought warm and relatively humid air into southern California. This “monsoonal” flow triggered thunderstorms and showers across the mountains and deserts in Southern California.

On Saturday, the moist air moved up the Sierra Nevada range, and by afternoon and evening thunderstorms spread northward along the range’s crest. A low pressure trough from the Gulf of Alaska approached Northern California.

By Sunday the system brought cooler air to Northern California and rain into the northern mountain ranges.

Field crops

Rice harvest was ongoing. Cotton fields were in the final stages of harvest preparation with many fields in the process of defoliation.

Alfalfa and Sudangrass was cut and baled. The last alfalfa cuttings of the season took place in Northern California while areas of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) ranged from the sixth to seventh cuttings.

The potato harvest progressed in Siskiyou County. Sunflower harvest slowed in Sutter County. Harvest started in grain corn fields in San Joaquin County.

Corn silage harvest continued throughout California. Harvested silage fields were prepared for winter grain planting in the SJV. Early planted small grain fields germinated.

Fruit crops

The apple and fig harvests were ongoing in the Central Valley as the pear harvest neared completion.

Valencia oranges were picked in the Central Valley and along the southern coast. The lemon harvest along the southern coast was completed while light picking continued in the desert region.

The SJV table grape harvest was ongoing while the raisin and wine grape harvests neared completion. Several fields of globe table grapes were covered with plastic to allow for later harvesting in Kern County.

The SJV olive harvest began. Plants were harvested and shipped from strawberry nurseries in Siskiyou County. Post-harvest irrigation was ongoing in orchards.

Nut crops

Shaking and harvesting of almonds in the Central Valley was ongoing. Harvesting of early variety walnuts continued in the Central Valley as harvesting began for some later varieties. The full-scale pistachio harvest started as the early harvest neared completion. Irrigation and pest control was ongoing in pecan orchards.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported carrot harvest and the cutting of fall asparagus. Tulare County reported cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet corn, and squash harvests.

In Fresno County, the processing tomato, garlic, and onion harvests were winding down and winter vegetables were planted.

Stanislaus County reported tomato and melon harvests. San Joaquin County harvested watermelons, melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins.

Sutter County reported field work and ground preparation, plus the continued harvest of processing tomatoes and honeydew melons. Siskiyou County reported the dehydrator onion harvest. The crop looks good even though hampered by late season problems.