The latest California Crop Weather Report from the Sacramento, Calif., Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, released Sept. 28, 2011.

Weather

Last week was generally a quiet period overall. Temperatures for most areas trended above normal early in the week as high pressure built across the Golden State and the interior thermal trough shifted last week. This above normal temperature regime maintained itself for several days in the inland areas.

Across Southern California, a weak disturbance triggered some scattered thunderstorm activity in the mountains and coastal hill later in the period. This disturbance then moved north and generated some elevated thunderstorm activity across mainly the southern Sierra Nevada. 

A big change followed for the northern and central portions of California as a colder, fall-like low pressure trough brought much cooler temperatures to the interior. This system also generated rainfall up to around a half an inch for the North Coast and northern Coastal Ranges with spotty and much lighter amounts observed as far south to the northern San Joaquin Valley (SJV) and greater Delta region.

Field crops

Riceharvest of early maturing varieties was underway while later maturing varieties developed.  Enough rice has been harvested for rice millers to begin milling the new crop.

Cottonprogressed well this past week and was helped by warm weather. Over half of cotton bolls were open and producers prepared fields for defoliation. Cotton and rice crop conditions were rated mostly good to excellent.

Alfalfaharvest continued as some producers were cutting the sixth crop and irrigating for a potential seventh as the season nears the end.

Black-eye beans matured nicely in the fields and were cut and windrowed. Sunflower bracts turned brown and harvest was underway. Wheat ground preparation and fall planting of wheat continued.

Fruit crops

The SJV table grape harvest continued for the Red Globe, Summer Royal, Thompson Seedless, and Flame Seedless varieties. The harvest of wine grapes continued. The raisin grape harvest continued.

Pomegranates increased in color. Apple harvest continued. The Bartlett pear harvest was finished while Bosc and Comice harvests continued. The olive crop progressed. 

The harvests of prunes and peaches were nearly over. Kiwis developed well. Fig harvest was underway. The Valencia orange harvest was winding down. 

Nut crops

The Nonpareil almond harvest was in full swing across the state. Growers began to harvest other varieties.

Walnut orchards statewide were prepped for harvest with harvest starting in a few locations. The pistachio harvest picked up.

Vegetable crops

Tulare County reported that peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplants,and honeydew were picked and packed.

Fresno County reported dehydrator onion harvest while the fresh onion harvest was winding down. Winter carrots were watered, fertilized, and treated for fungus.

Cantaloupe, honeydew, tomato, bell pepper, and watermelon harvests continued while radicchio planting continued in Merced County.  In Sutter County, field work and ground preparation continued while melons were treated for aphid and cucumber beetle. The processing tomato harvest was ongoing.

In San Joaquin County, processing and fresh market tomatoes, bell peppers, watermelon, squash, and pumpkins were harvested. Onion harvest was winding down.