The latest California Crop Weather report from the Sacramento, Calif. Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The week of Oct. 18 started with a low pressure system located off Southern California while high pressure over western Oregon moved towards Northern California. This unusual pattern resulted in two separate weather regimes for California. Northern California enjoyed a mild and dry pattern through Thursday.
In Southern California, the low pressure system spread a rainy Pacific storm system across the region which persisted through Thursday resulting in cool temperatures and widespread showers, some locally heavy.
On Thursday, the pattern started to reverse. A low pressure system off the coast of British Columbia intensified and moved south while a high pressure ridge developed over Southern California.
By the weekend, Southern California enjoyed dry and mild weather. Northern California had a trio of Pacific storm systems move through; each one stronger than the previous storm. On Sunday, the strongest of the storms spread heavy rain, gusty winds, and high elevation snow to the north.
The rice harvest progressed in the Sacramento Valley along with the baling of rice straw. Weekend rains brought harvest to a halt and strong winds flattened some fields.
The cotton harvest continued with fields ready in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Alfalfa was cut and baled. Some cut hay fields received rain late in the week. New fields of alfalfa were planted.
Corn was harvested for grain and silage. The potato harvest slowed in northern California. The bean harvest continued and the straw from finished fields was baled.
Sorghum was harvested for silage. Harvested fields were prepared for winter grain crops. Winter grains were planted throughout California, including winter wheat, rye, and other small grains.
The packing of Valencia oranges slowed but exports continued while early Navel oranges began showing color in Tulare County.
The SJV table grape harvest was ongoing as some globe grapes remained for harvest in Kern County. The kiwi harvest neared completion in Butte County. Mandarins were picked and placed in sweat rooms to color and mature in Tulare County.
Most walnuts have been harvested in Butte County. Heavy rains brought the harvest to a halt. The almond, walnut, and pistachio harvests continued in Sutter and Tulare counties and the SJV. The last of the almond harvest was completed in Kern County and the SJV.
The onion harvest was nearing the end in Siskiyou County. In Sutter County, field work and ground cultivation continued as the processing tomato harvest neared the end. The tomato harvest was also finishing up in Stanislaus County. Cauliflower was harvested. The cantaloupe harvest is expected to conclude by the end of October.
In Imperial County, early plantings of produce had good stands. Endive grew in Lassen County. The planting of winter vegetable crops began in Tulare County as the last crop of honeydew melons was picked. Lettuce and cabbage were harvested in Kern County.