The latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., field office:
Most of California during the second week of November was dominated by a Pacific high pressure pattern. The only exception was the far Northern California Coast. Rain fell north of Ukiah, Calif. for most of the week. Precipitation totals were .25 inches or less along the far North Coast due to cold fronts clipping the Golden State.
Otherwise, California was mostly dry with daytime high temperatures slightly below normal for this time of year due to the Pacific high keeping the weather fairly benign.
Northern California had daytime highs in the 60s throughout the valley, and in the 50s along the coast and the higher elevations of the mountains. Lows were in the middle 30s to the 40s. Southern California had daytime highs in the middle 60s through the 70s. Lows were in the 40s.
• Field crops
Ground preparation for planting winter wheat, oats, and barley continued. Early rainfall was beneficial for seed germination. Weed control started in winter crop fields where plants had already emerged.
Many alfalfa fields were cut the last time before the plants became dormant. New alfalfa fields were planted in Madera County.
Cotton harvest continued; harvested fields were shredded and disked. Corn harvest for grain and silage neared completion. The sorghum harvest was close to the finish. The dry bean harvest continued with some fields baled for straw.
Rice harvest was completed in most areas. Sunflower seed harvest has ended. Post-harvest ground preparation included irrigation, cultivation, and fertilization.
• Fruit crops
The wine grape harvest along the Central Coast was nearly complete. Minor picking of table grapes and Pink Lady apples continued in the Central Valley. Pomegranates, Satsuma and Clementine mandarins, and Oro Blanco grapefruit were picked in the San Joaquin Valley. The kiwi harvest was essentially finished.
The Navel orange harvest picked up in the Central Valley. The fruit showed good progress and sugar content. The lemon harvest continued in the desert region.
Plantings of strawberries and blueberries were ongoing for next year. Normal spraying and maintenance continued in orchards which included tree pruning and pre-emergent spray applications.
• Nut crops
The almond, walnut, pecan, and pistachio harvests were essentially finished as minor hulling and stockpile fumigations continued for almonds. Orchards finished with harvest had ongoing pruning and maintenance activities including continuing applications of zinc sulfate in almond orchards.
• Vegetable crops
Harvesting operations for most leafy greens were slowing down in Monterey County. Ground preparation continued in Sutter County. Tulare County’s harvest of fall vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, and romaine lettuce, gained momentum. The cauliflower harvest was expected to be in full-swing in the next few weeks. The harvesting and packing of fresh market tomatoes was almost completed.
Winter vegetables, including broccoli and spinach, were planted on the west side of Stanislaus County. Farmers in Imperial County harvested sweet corn and spring mix salad products while fresh spinach was nearly ready for harvest.
Fresno County’s lettuce and broccoli were harvested. The carrots looked good and pesticides were applied to the crop. Producers were pre-irrigating dehydrator onions and preparing tomato beds.
Kern County’s asparagus was almost all harvested while lettuce, cabbage, kale, spinach, and chard continued to be planted. The fresh market tomato harvest was completed in Merced County but the radicchio harvest continued.