Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending September 21, 2014.
A cooling trend persisted as two low pressure systems impacted the State. First, a weak trough brushed across the northern portion of the State bringing some scattered light showers to the far northern coast and the interior. Then a deeper low pressure system moved southward off the coast through midweek, tracking inland across the State over the weekend. This resulted in additional cooling with more widespread precipitation.
Across the northern portion of the State, rainfall amounts along the coast were around half an inch. Over an inch fell in the mountains of southern Humboldt and north Mendocino counties. Amounts tapered to less than a tenth of an inch across eastern Siskiyou, central Shasta, and Modoc counties, and in portions of the Central Valley. Some light precipitation occurred over portions of the Mojave Desert and Greater Antelope Valley, San Gabriel Mountains and the greater Los Angeles and San Diego areas.
Amounts up to half an inch fell in portions of Western Riverside, Escondido and San Diego counties. Below normal temperatures were present over much of the State by midweek, persisting into the weekend.
Winter wheat plantings started. Cotton conditions were rated 80 percent good or excellent. Last irrigations were completed and some fields were prepped for defoliation. Pasture and rangeland was 70 percent poor to very poor. Poor range conditions required feed to be supplemented with alfalfa hay. Corn silage was cut. Rice fields were dried and harvest was 7 percent complete.
The raisin grape harvest remained active. Rain over the weekend was a concern for growers. Wine and table grape harvests continued. The harvest of apples, pears, Asian pears, pomegranates, quince, and olives continued. Late variety peaches, plums, nectarines, and pluots were picked. Growers began pruning stone fruit orchards that had completed harvest. Valencia orange harvest remained active.
Walnut, almond, and pistachio harvests continued. Pecan harvest is expected to begin in a few weeks.
Tomato harvest wound down throughout the State. In most areas the harvest was reported as good. The summer vegetable harvest was wrapping up in Tulare County and included tomatoes, green beans, squash, eggplant and cucumbers. Honeydew melon harvest continued with good quality reported. In San Joaquin County, beans, pumpkins, squash and watermelon were harvested. In Monterey County, all crops were in production and brassicas and lettuce were harvested daily. In San Mateo County, pumpkins were harvested and the pea harvest wrapped up.
Very poor range conditions and lack of water continued to plague livestock producers. Range cattle were given supplemental feed to compensate for the lack of nutritious forage. Fire danger remained high across the State. Sheep grazed on idle fields and alfalfa fields. Some bees were working melon and squash fields