The California Crop Weather report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Field Office in Sacramento, Calif., released May 21, 2012.

Weather

California had seasonable weather for midMay. No rain fell the week of May 14 except for isolated thunderstorm activity Monday. Thunderstorms produced a trace of rain in most of Lassen and Shasta counties. Lassen Park receivedbrief heavy rain Monday. 

Otherwise, the Golden State was high and dry from Eureka to San Diego. High temperatures in California at the start of the week were slightly cooler due a low pressure area leaving the region. 

Highs were in the 70’s to low 80’s in the Central Valley from Redding to Bakersfield, in the 70’s to lower 80’s in the Los Angeles to San Diego region, and 100 degrees to 112 degrees in the desert at Death Valley.The coastal region had highs in the 60’s. 

By midweek, a near normal climate dominated the state under high pressure. Highs were back in the 80’s to lower 90’s in the Central Valley from Redding to Bakersfield, 70’s to mid 80’s in the Los Angeles to San Diego region, and from 100 degrees to 112 degrees in the desert at Death Valley. 

The coastal region was back to normal with highs in the 50’s at the adjacent coast.

Field crops

Warm and dry conditions aided the maturation progress for the wheat crop. Wheat for grain dried down and turned brown while the wheat harvest for silage was in full-swing. Oat hay cutting continued.

Alfalfa growers finished the second cutting in most areas while others have started the third cutting. 

Steady higher temperatures benefited cotton as producers planted the crop. Early-planted cotton emerged at a rapid pace while plants addedleaves.

Corn emerged and showed good progress. Over half or the rice crop was planted. More than a quarter of the crop had emerged. Warm weather aided the developmental progress.

Fruit crops

Plum, prune, peach, apricot, and nectarine fruit progressed. Prune and peach trees in the Sacramento Valley were thinned. Harvestscontinued for early peach, nectarine,and apricot varieties in the San Joaquin Valley(SJV).

Cherry fruit developed as growers sprayedfor the oriental fruit fly. Harvest began for early cherry varieties.

Grape and kiwi vines grew fast as temperatures increasedwhile bloom picked up for both. Mating disruptions for the European grapevine moth have been put up in high-risk vineyards. 

Pomegranates and persimmons leafed out as the pomegranate bloom began. Apples bloomed and leafed out. Olives bloomed. Blueberries and strawberries were picked and packed in the SJV.

The orange and avocado bloom neared the end. The Navel orange harvest was nearly complete. Tangerines, tangelos,and lemons were harvested and packed for export. The Valencia orange harvest pickedup. 

Nut crops

Almond nuts were in the late jelly stage as growers applied insecticides to prevent against stink and leaffooted bugs. 

Walnut fungicide applications continuedas nuts developed.

Pistachio nuts developed.

Vegetable crops

Kern County reported the continued harvest of carrots as processing tomatoes grew well.

In Tulare County, summer vegetables were planted. Cucumbers and eggplant were behind in development due to cool spring weather. Italian squash was harvestedwhile onions grew well.

Merced County reportedfresh and processing tomato plantings as the asparagus and radicchio harvestscontinued.

In San Joaquin County, asparagus harvest continued, onions grew, and watermelon was planted.

In Sutter County, tomato transplants grew rapidly.