The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif. released Jan. 16.


A ridge of high pressure settled just off the Southern California coast this week. As a result, a more or less stagnant weather regime remained in place over much of California. This meant cool and foggy conditions across the Central Valley while Southern California enjoyed sunny and warm conditions.

A couple of weak weather systems passing through the Pacific Northwest brushed the North bringing some showers to the northern coast and interior. The strongest brought measurable rain to the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys (SJV) Thursday. Generally, precipitation amounts were light except for stations along the North Coast.

Southern California reported virtually no measurable precipitation all week.

Field crops

Wheat, barley, and other winter forage crops emerged and developed with the recent rains. Fields started to dry but there was still plenty of moisture causing the yellowing of crops. Field work was put on hold in some areas, but was expected to resume shortly.

Field maintenance continued in alfalfa fields as conditions permitted. Hay growth has been slow in Southern California due to cool temperatures.

Fruit crops

The SJV Navel orange, mandarin, lemon, pummelo, and grapefruit harvests continued at a quicker pace as orchard floors dried. Lemons and grapefruit were picked in the desert region.

Some young strawberry fields along the Central Coast suffered from anthomyiid and sciarid infestations. Blueberry and raspberry plants arrived from out-of-state for transplanting.

Dormant orchards and vineyards were pruned along with dormancy spray applications plus other off-season maintenance.

Nut crops

Almond pruning and orchard removal was ongoing in the Central Valley as field conditions allowed. Nut trees were in dormancy for the winter statewide.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported fields of cabbage and onions growing plus carrot harvest. Tulare County reported winter vegetable plantings in dried areas. Vegetables already planted thrived with ideal growth and maturity. Radicchio harvest continued while broccoli fields emerged in Merced County.

In Fresno County, the broccoli harvest continued as did the harvests of beets, cabbage, daikon, choys, chards, kales and turnips. The planting of fresh market onions continued while early plants emerged and established a stand on the beds.

Growers fumigated, cultivated beds, and applied pre-emergent herbicides as weather permitted. Onion and garlic fields were planted and germinating.

Cool wet weather conditions delayed ground preparation in Sutter County; conversely it has been good for growing produce in Imperial County.