The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released May 15, 2012. 


At the start of the week of May 7, a high pressure ridge stretched over Northern California while upper level low pressure moved across Southern California. This created dry and warm weather across the North and slightly cooler but dry weather over the South.

High pressure developed over the state through midweek. The low over Southern California slipped into Mexico. This combination brought warm temperatures statewide. 

On Wednesday evening, a dry cold front moved across the state. This system brought no precipitation and hardly any cloudiness, but it did result in a slight cooling trend for a couple of days. 

By Friday, high pressure redeveloped and brought warmer temperatures to the entire state for the weekend. Virtually no precipitation was reported this week across California.

Field crops

Warm and dry conditions aided the maturation progress for the wheat crop. The entire crop was virtually headed as harvest started throughout the state. Some early-planted wheat was cut for hay and silage as conditions were rated mostly good to excellent. 

Oat hay cutting continued.

Alfalfa growers advanced to the second cutting in the Central Valley while some producers treated the crop for alfalfa weevil.

Warmer soil temperatures benefited cotton as producers were nearly finished planting the crop. Early-planted cotton emerged at a rapid pace.

Corn showed good development.

Rice plantings continued.

Fruit crops

Plum, prune, peach, apricot, and nectarine fruit progressed and developed as peaches and prunes produced heavily. Harvest continued in early peach and apricot varieties.

Cherry fruit developed as growers sprayed for the oriental fruit fly. Early cherry varieties were close to harvest in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). 

Weed treatments and bloom spray applications continued in stone fruit orchards. 

Grape and kiwi vines grew fast as temperatures increased while shoot thinning started in grape vineyards. Grapes bloomed in early varieties and locations while some fruit were developing. Mating disruptions for the European grapevine moth have been put up in high risk vineyards.

Pomegranates and persimmons continued to leaf out. Apples bloomed and leafed out. Blueberries and strawberries were picked and packed in the SJV. Strawberries matured in the northern part of the state. The blackberry harvest was expected to start soon in Tulare County.

Orange and avocado blooms were nearing the end. Navel oranges, tangerines, tangelos, and lemons were harvested and packed for export. The harvest of late variety Navel oranges and early Valencia oranges picked up. 

Nut crops

Almond nuts developed nicely as heavy sets were reported across the state.

Walnut fungicide applications continued. 

Pistachio nuts developed and some fungicides were applied to some orchards.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported carrot harvest.

In Tulare County, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, and squash plantings winded down. Growth of tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant progressed well. 

Fresno County reported the irrigation of garlic and onions while some vegetables were re-planted due to cold and wet weather. Asparagus was harvested as were broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, squash, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, daikon, mustard greens, spinach, choys, chards, kales, sugar snap peas, snow peas, green and red onions, garlic, fava beans, and hot-housed herbs. Green beans were in varying states of maturity.

Merced County reported light beet armyworm masses and hatches on tomatoes.

Tomatoes were planted in Stanislaus County.

San Joaquin County harvested asparagus. Processing tomatoes were transplanted and onions grew. 

In Sutter County, field preparation continued as tomato transplants were in the fields. Onion and carrot seed crops were flowering.