The California Crop Weather Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif., released March 7.

Weather

The week of Feb. 28 started out dry except for the far northwest portion of California with below normal temperatures through most of the state. On Wednesday, a storm system moved over northern California bringing precipitation to the northern half of the state.

On Thursday, the same system spread rain to portions of southern California with continued below normal temperatures. Friday was dry. On Saturday another system moved over the north and brought more precipitation through Sunday.

Field crops

Wheat, barley, oats, and forage mixes continued to establish good stands. Dryland crops progressed well with adequate rainfall. Aerial herbicide applications continued on small grain fields as weather permitted.

Alfalfa fields continued to break dormancy with some fields receiving irrigation.

Rice fields were drained.

Preparation for cotton, corn, and bean planting resumed as field conditions allowed. Spring field work continued with plowing, disking, planting, and spraying.

Fruit crops

The Navel orange, mandarin, and lemon harvests continued in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) along with early varieties of Valencia oranges picked for export markets. Lemons and grapefruit were picked in the desert region with lemons picked in the coastal regions as well. The Navel orange harvest continued at a quickened pace to limit fruit losses due to rind break down.

Budding in stone fruit trees was ongoing as blooming continued in early-variety fruit trees and began in later varieties.

Early grape varieties showed bud break and strawberry plants showed good growth in the San Joaquin Valley.

Beehives were placed in orchards though cool temperatures limited bee activity.

Nut crops

Irrigation was applied to almond orchards across the Central Valley to limit the effects of freezing temperatures on almond buds. Full bloom was reached in most early varieties as blooming continued in all varieties. Sprays were applied in blooming almond orchards. Pruning and spraying in pistachio and walnut orchards continued as field conditions allowed.

Vegetable crops

Ground was prepared for tomatoes and melons. Carrots were planted and harvested. Lettuce was growing in Kern County. Tulare County reported greenhouse vegetables were germinating.

In Fresno County, growers cleaned fields in preparation for planting by pre-irrigation, cultivating beds, and controlling weeds. Broccoli harvest continued. Winter rotational vegetables were planted while beets, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, daikon, green onions, herbs, the choys, chards and kales were harvested. Garlic and onions grew well and were treated with herbicides.

Asparagus has grown tremendously and harvesting began. Sweet corn and processing tomato growers began seeding new fields. Spring lettuce fields grew nicely after weeding and thinning.

Good conditions for all winter vegetables were reported with continued irrigation and fertilizers applied.