The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif., released Jan. 22, 2012.
After almost two months of mostly dry weather over California, a dynamic high pressure ridge broke down on Tuesday, Jan. 17. This allowed the jet stream to bring several storms into the state.
The heavy rain began in the extreme northern portion of California near Crescent City. By Wednesday, some stem river flooding occurred along the Smith and Van Duzen Rivers with over six inches of rain in 24 hours in Del Norte and Humboldt counties.
Heavy rain and snow moved southward Thursday and Friday bringing 1 to 4 inches of rain to the northern valley by Saturday. Heavy snow fell in the mountains. Rain fell in Southern California Friday and Saturday but not as intense.
The mountains above 4,000 feet received 1 to 5 feet of new snow from Blue Canyon to the Donner Summit.
The storm track broke the long, dry spell with some impressive seven-day totals for the week: 8 to 11 inches of rain along the coastal region, 2 to 4 inches of rain in the Central Valley, 1 to 2 inches of rain in Southern California, and up to 6 feet of new snow at the highest elevations.
Heavy rains in the later part of the week were needed for winter wheat, oats, and other small grain fields. Growers cultivated seed beds and applied fertilizers and herbicides.
Pre-emergent and dormant sprays continued. Peach and prune orchards were irrigated, pruned, and planted.
Wine grape vineyards were prepared and pruned.
The pummelo harvest continued to increase. The Satsuma mandarin, Owari and Clementine tangerine harvests continued. The Navel orange harvest accelerated as internal maturity improved.
Pre-emergent spraying, mowing, orchard removal, planting, and pruning continued. Growers applied some fertilizers and irrigation until the first rain storm passed through.
Carrots were harvested in Kern County.
Fresno County reported the broccoli and spinach harvests were halted due wet and rainy conditions. General maintenance activities occurred.
In Sutter County, ground preparation continued.