The latest California crop weather update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., field office:
A cold front entered Northern California early Monday morning. This brought frontal rainfall from the North Coast near Eureka to Pismo Beach in Central California. The southern portions of California remained dry.
Rain is still rare in mid-September in California. Several rainfall records were broken in the Valley on Monday, especially in the southern Sacramento Valley. The mountains received very little precipitation due to the front drying out quickly as it passed through the valley region.
On Tuesday, high pressure moved over California and conditions returned to normal for this time of year. Daytime highs were normal or slightly above normal for the remainder of the week under partly cloudy skies.
• Field crops
Rice harvest continued to proceed with higher yields than last year being reported. Late planted rice fields were still being drained in preparation for harvest. Harvest continued for a number of other crops including sunflower, bean, and safflower.
Cotton fields received their last watering in preparation for defoliation, and continued to be monitored for aphids, mites, and lygus. Corn continued to be cut for silage and harvested for grain.
Alfalfa continued to be cut and baled. Sugar beet planting progressed in Imperial County. Sudan hay and small grain harvest continued.
• Fruit crops
Fig, raisin grape, table grape, wine grape, juicing grape, Gala apple, and Granny Smith apple harvests continued primarily in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Pinot noir and Chardonnay wine grape varieties were also being harvested along the Central and North Coasts. Light rain has not appeared to damage any grape crops.
The peach, plum, and nectarine harvests were nearing completion. Pomegranates continued to develop in size and color, as light harvesting of Foothill and Early Wonderful varieties continued in the SJV.
The SJV Valencia orange harvest continued to wind down. Navel oranges for the upcoming season continued to develop in size.
Strawberry fields were plowed and prepared for fall season berries. The lemon harvest continued along the Central and southern coasts. Normal spraying and maintenance continued in orchards and vineyards.
• Nut crops
The almond harvest continued at a slower pace in the Central Valley. Hulling and stockpile fumigations continued for the almond crop as the late-variety harvest winded down. The walnut and pistachio harvests began in parts of the Central Valley, while the rest of the area continued ground preparations for the upcoming harvests.
• Vegetable crops
The honeydew melon harvest was still underway in Tulare County and vegetables including sweet corn, eggplant, squash, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes continued to be harvested.
In Merced County, radicchio planting progressed and harvesting continued for basil, fresh market and processing tomatoes, bell peppers, fresh market red and white onions, honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Worm sprays were also applied to tomato fields.
Fresno County growers were still removing drip tapes from tomato fields after the harvest was completed. Carrots were irrigated, cultivated, and treated with herbicide and fungicide.
The processing tomato harvest was still in full production in Colusa County with great yields reported. The harvest of sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and other melon varieties for farmers’ markets was winding down in Sutter County. Treatments for weeds and worms in processing tomatoes and melons continued.
In San Joaquin County, the harvest continued for tomatoes. Pumpkins and watermelon were being picked, packed, and shipped.