The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
At the start of the week, a high pressure ridge set over the West Coast resulted in a dry and mild weather regime for most of California.
Temperatures across northern California were close to normal while southern California saw above normal temperatures with daytime highs reaching 80 degrees. This pattern persisted for most of the workweek with occasional clouds brushing the state from storm systems which were moving along the edges of the high pressure.
By the weekend, the high pressure ridge had spread northward into British Columbia. Two low pressure areas began to develop at its base. The easternmost low pressure system moved ashore in southern California on Saturday spreading light to moderate showers across the southern counties. A few showers fell across the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys.
Another storm system moved into northern California late Saturday bringing rain and snow to the northern counties and across the northern Sierra Nevada. By Sunday, a few lingering showers fell across California but decreased in intensity as the low pressure moved to the east.
Wheat, rye, and oat fields received herbicide treatments for weed growth spurred by the recent rainfall. Weed control measures were taken in alfalfa fields. Alfalfa started to bloom. The first cutting of hay will begin soon.
The rainfall has been ideal for dryland and irrigated crops. Rice fields were drained. Field operations were performed as conditions allowed.
Tying vines in vineyards and pruning trees in orchards increased as grounds dried although soil moisture remained high. Stone fruit grafting continued in the San Joaquin Valley. Some blooming occurred in plum, prune, and peach trees. Cherry buds began to swell as widespread blooming is expected soon. Warmer weather aided blueberry pollination.
The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, grapefruit, and lemons returned to a normal pace as most ground has dried in the groves.
Blooming in almond orchards increased with initial reports of a healthy bloom. Due to tree moisture and warmer weather, brown rot is a concern. Growers are expected to apply protective sprays to limit the impact of bloom disease. Herbicide applications continued for walnut trees.
Groundwork and field preparation continued in Sutter County.
Fresno County vegetables were in-between seasons with the winter harvest wrapping up and spring vegetables planted. Farmers cleared weeds in organic tomatoes and applied herbicides to the conventional crop. Winter onions matured and were irrigated and fertilized.
Fields in Tulare County were disked to break and aerate the soil for future planting. Planting beds were prepared for spring and summer vegetables. Squash was planted under plastic tunnels.
Cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce, and organic vegetables grew in Kern County.