The following is the latest California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., Field Office:
On Monday, Jan. 25 a cold front entered Northern California with most of the system north of the Fresno region. One to 2 inches of rain fell in the valley north of Fresno. Two to 3 inches fell in the foothills. One to 2 feet of snow fell in the mountains. The storm moved south by Wednesday.
The majority of the energy was near the Central Coast. Over a half inch of rain fell near Morro Bay. High Pressure moved over the Golden State Thursday and most of Friday. Daytime highs were near normal for most the week.
Another cold front entered California late Friday and Saturday bringing more rain to the valley and snow to the mountains. The storm was relatively weak with less than a quarter inch of rain.
Most locations throughout California ended the month near normal, or slightly above normal, for precipitation for the month of January. In comparison, January 2009 was very dry.
Rainfall continued to create ideal soil moisture levels last week but also stalled field operations. Recent rains have continued to benefit dryland oats and grain crops. Sprays to control broadleaf and grass were applied in some alfalfa fields.
Limited maintenance work restarted in vineyards and orchards, though many grounds continued to be too wet to enter. The maintenance work included pruning plus some dormant and herbicide sprays.
The picking of tangerines, Navel oranges, grapefruit, and lemons was very limited due to wet groves. Citrus packing houses continued to work on pre-storm inventories as a result. The Valencia orange crop continued to develop well.
Orchard work, including pruning and spraying, slowly restarted as grounds began to dry.
Ground preparation continued in Sutter County. In Imperial County, the ground was still too wet for planting. However, the produce harvest was able to resume in some fields. In Tulare County, wet field conditions prevented work. Winter vegetables continued to develop normally.
Farmland in Kern County was stale bedded for tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, peppers, and lettuce.
In Fresno County, the timing of the rains was good for onions. Growers were finalizing planting schedules for processing tomatoes. The harvest of winter vegetables in the county was almost complete.