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    September 23, 2013
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    California: Weekend Rains Slow Rice Harvest, Nut Harvests Well Underway – US-DA

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    From USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending September 22, 2013.

    WEATHER

    The early part of the week featured dry conditions statewide. Strong high pressure across Southern California resulted in above normal temperatures over the inland areas while the remainder of the State observed near normal temperatures. Temperatures began to trend downward statewide and were followed by an early season moist low pressure system that developed off the North Coast. This low pressure system then moved across the northern and central areas of the State with some of the first significant rains of the season.

    Rainfall amounts totaled over two and a half inches across some areas of Shasta County and the northern Sierra Nevada. This system was cool enough to generate 2 to 5 inches of snowfall on the higher peaks. Rainfall across the northern Wine Country regions near the Bay Area to much of the Sacramento Valley totaled more than a half inch with local areas receiving over an inch. Rainfall amounts tapered downward further south across the Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys and were generally less than a quarter of an inch. During this time the greater Southland and Inland Empire saw dry conditions with cooler air associated with the passing low pressure trough to the north.

    FIELD CROPS

    Rice fields were dried and harvest was ongoing. Weekend rain events, however, resulted in some fields lodging and slowed harvest progress. Reporters noted that some cotton had received its last irrigation and other fields had begun the defoliation process. Over half of the cotton bolls were open by week’s end. Alfalfa growers continued to cut, windrow, rake and bale with good drying conditions in the southern half of the State. Winter wheat fields were prepared for planting and some producers were able to start planting.

    FRUIT CROPS

    Raisin grapes were rolled and collected from the fields.  Harvest of fresh grapes and grapes for wine continued.  Fig harvest was ongoing.  Early persimmons began to color.  Pomegranate harvest remained active.  Prune harvest was slowing.  Apple and pear harvest continued.  Olive harvest was slowly beginning.  Kiwifruit continued to size; growers were preparing for harvest.  Late variety peach, nectarine, and fresh plum harvests were nearly complete.

    Stone fruit orchards that were completely harvested were undergoing pruning, topping, and orchard cleanup.  Avocado harvest continued.  Valencia orange harvest continued.  Navel orange harvest was expected to begin earlier than normal this year.  Growers were monitoring the Red Scale flight.  Lemon harvest was slowing.

    NUT CROPS

    Almond harvest was in full swing.  Pistachio harvest was underway in some areas.  Walnut harvest began.

    VEGETABLE CROPS

    Tulare County reported bell and jalapeno peppers, melons, eggplant and squash harvest continued.  Processing tomato harvest was winding down in Fresno County.  Winter carrots were cultivated, irrigated and treated for fungicide.  Garlic and onions for processing were harvested. Madera County reported cantaloupes were harvested and processing tomato harvest was complete. Bell and chile peppers, fresh market and processed tomatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupes, honeydew, and watermelon were harvested in Merced County; onion harvest was complete.

    In Stanislaus County, cantaloupe and honeydew melons, tomatoes, and basil were harvested and broccoli was planted. San Joaquin County reported harvest of vegetable row crops was winding down.  Brussels sprouts were harvested in San Mateo County and pumpkins were filling roadside stands.

    LIVESTOCK

    Range and non-irrigated pasture remained in fair to very poor condition.  Unseasonably early precipitation across much of the State promoted range recovery.  Sheep and cattle grazed on idle fields, dry land grain and alfalfa fields.  Livestock supplemental feeding of hay and grain was ongoing.

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