Weather

August ended on the cooler side of average as an unseasonably cool system passed through California last weekend. Parts of Burney Basin, the Sierra Nevada, and the northern Sacramento Valley received about a tenth of an inch of precipitation with the system. Temperatures throughout most of inland California remained mild through the remainder of the month as a result of the low.

September began with a warm start as an area of high pressure built over California that enabled a trend of above average temperatures for the remainder of the week.  Triple digit temperatures in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys were occurred.

Inland southern California and the central/southern San Joaquin Valley (SJV) continued the triple digit temperature pace through Saturday. Above average temperatures persisted through the Labor Day weekend for interior California, but gradually cooled due to the tapering off of high pressure over the state.

The Bay Area and Salinas Valley experienced a short burst of hot temperatures on Wednesday due to offshore flow. Southern coastal California remained slightly below normal for most of the previous week.

Field crops

Rice fields headed while some fields were drained and water was added to others. Alfalfa was cut and baled. Potato fields were rolled and prepped for harvest in the northern areas while harvest continued in the SJV. Corn silage was harvested.

The garbanzo bean harvest continued in Fresno County while the safflower harvest was nearly complete. Sorghum continued to develop. Cotton fields were sprayed for aphids, lygus, and other pests.

Black-eyed bean fields in Tulare County received the last irrigation before harvest. Sunflower fields were harvested. Field operations continued with irrigation, ground preparation, and spray applications of fertilizer, herbicide, and insecticide, as needed.

Fruit crops

Peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes, Gala and Fuji apples, and pears were harvested and packed in the Central Valley.

Valencia oranges were picked in the Central Valley and along the southern coast, though harvest slowed due to quality issues stemming from the re-greening of fruit. The lemon harvest along the southern coast neared completion while picking began in the desert region.

The SJV table, wine, and raisin grape harvests continued. Pomegranates showed good development in size and color. Fruit in olive orchards matured in size at a slow pace due to a heavy crop set.

Nut crops

The shaking and harvesting of Nonpareil almond varieties in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys was well underway as hull splitting continued in later varieties. There were grower reports of salt water damage in western SJV almond orchards.

Irrigation in walnut and pistachio orchards was ongoing as the crop developed at a slow pace.

Vegetable crops

Imperial County had early transplants of cauliflower, plus the pre-irrigation of some lettuce fields and ground preparation for future lettuce production. In Tulare County, cucumbers and squash were harvested for the late market.

In Fresno County, processing tomatoes, cantaloupes, garlic, and onions were harvested. Watermelon, honeydew, and mixed melons grew as harvest was in full swing.

Good-sized garlic plus bell peppers were harvested. The yield is down about 60 percent on the acreage of red bells harvested versus green bells due to lower summer temperatures. Subsequent fields of tomatoes and peppers grew vigorously flowering and setting fruit. Carrots grew well.

Beds were prepared for the fall lettuce season. Sweet corn for consumption was at various stages of growth, and harvest continued while subsequent fields were planted.  Broccoli fields were prepared for fall planting. Some planted fields showed good development. Growers planted melon, cucumber, and squash transplants.

Summer vegetables including beets, bittermelon, chards, choys, kales, squash, eggplant, green, yellow and long beans, cherry tomatoes, daikon, tomatillos, and cucumbers were harvested.

No vegetables were harvested in Kern County’s Mettler quarantine area due to the melon fly. The area may be expanded.

Siskiyou County reported onions treated for thrips.