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    July 1, 2013
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    California: Record Temperatures Boost Rice Development, Condition – US-DA

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    From USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending June 30, 2013.

    WEATHER

    It was a week of sharp contrast that began with a wet and cool weather system moving through Northern California, and ended with record high temperatures across the State by the weekend.  The initial cool weather system was driven by a trough of low pressure rotating around a low pressure center in the Gulf of Alaska.  There were widespread showers and unusually cool temperatures across the northern half of the State on Monday with some valley locations reporting highs only in the upper 60s.  The south remained dry, but with mild temperatures.

    The showers and cooler temperatures lingered in the north on Tuesday while the south warmed a bit.  A strengthening high pressure ridge building over the Four-Corner region began to push the Gulf of Alaska low away from the coast by midweek, and a warming and drying trend commenced which carried through the rest of the week.  The high pressure system was very strong and resulted in extremely hot conditions by the end of the week, with triple digit temperatures common across California.  By Sunday, high temperatures across interior Northern California ranged from near 105 up to 110 degrees.

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    FIELD CROPS

    Winter wheat for grain harvest continued throughout the week.  High temperatures in the Sacramento Valley promoted rice crop progress as fields continued to grow.  Rice crop conditions improved to 95 percent good to excellent.  Cotton irrigation continued, but development was slowed due to fluctuating temperatures.  The crop condition declined to 80 percent good to excellent as a result.  Crop reporters noted that lygus populations were generally low to moderate.  Corn for silage planting was complete in Tulare, San Joaquin and Stanislaus County and ongoing in Fresno County.  Growers cut, windrowed, raked and baled alfalfa during the week.

    FRUIT CROPS

    Hot temperatures caused an increase in irrigation for all crops.  The harvest of apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums continued with many mid-season varieties harvested.  Grape vineyards were irrigated and maintained to reduce weeds.  Clingstone peaches were thinned and sprayed with fungicides.  Prunes were irrigated and sprayed with insecticides and potassium.  Kiwis were growing well; some thinning of fruit occurred.   Olive bloom was complete and fruit was sizing normally.  Cherries were harvested.  Blueberry harvest slowed in Tulare County.  Strawberry harvest continued.    Pomegranate fruit was developing.  Fruit was growing on apple and pear trees.  Valencia orange harvest continued; regreening became more common due to high temperatures.  Ruby Red grapefruit was harvested.

    NUT CROPS

    Almond growers continued hull split sprays.  Some blocks were also sprayed with miticides.  Mites continued to be a problem for almonds in the southern part of the State.  Walnut growers continued to monitor for codling moths.  Pistachio shells have hardened.  Growers were treating for weeds.

    VEGETABLE CROPS

    Tulare County reported yellow and zucchini squash, bell peppers, chili peppers, cucumbers and eggplants were harvested.  Certified producers picked tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, squash and peppers for local farmers’ markets.  Early tomatoes were sunburned in Fresno County because of the heat.  Bell peppers were harvested.  Carrots were irrigated while water was pulled from summer onions.  Stanislaus County reported early Roma tomato fields were showing color, while watermelon, peppers, tomatoes and beans were growing well.

    Broccoli and parsley were picked.  Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, basil, mint, chives, cilantro, turnips, kale, cabbage, lettuce, onions, garlic, squash, and radishes were harvested for farmers’ markets.  Crops were growing well in San Joaquin County, despite the high heat.  Onions, watermelon, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and beans were harvested.  Sutter County reported tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers continued to be harvested for farmers’ markets.

    LIVESTOCK

    Range and non-irrigated pasture continued to deteriorate from fair to very poor conditions.  Fire danger remained high.  Sheep and cattle grazed on rangeland, idle fields, dry land grain and alfalfa fields.  Supplemental feeding of livestock continued.  Bees continued to work sunflower and vine seed fields.

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