Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending June 14, 2015.
Alfalfa for hay production was cut and baled. Alfalfa for seed production was mowed and cultivated. Alfalfa drying conditions were ideal with the warm, dry weather. Sweet corn and cotton emerged and showed good growth. Cotton continued to be irrigated and cultivated for weed control. Cotton were rated as 85 percent good to excellent and three quarters of the crop was squaring. Safflower bloomed.
Summer beans, silage corn, Sudan grass, and silage sorghum were planted. Wheat harvest for grain continued and the straw was baled. Winter wheat were rated as 90 percent good to excellent with 60 percent harvested.
Almond, walnut and pistachio orchards were irrigated. Herbicides and mowing were used to control weeds in walnut and almond orchards. Hull Split sprays have begun on a limited basis in San Joaquin Valley. Orchards were sprayed for codling moth. Pistachio orchards received spray micronutrients. Almonds and pistachios continued to be shipped to foreign and domestic markets.
Rangeland water and feed were poor at lower elevations. Range condition and fire danger continued to be unfavorable in the Sutter Buttes. Rangeland ponds were decreasing in quantity with some ponds becoming completely dry. Irrigation waters were curtailed in some areas and more farmland was fallowed due to the lack of irrigation water. Supplemental feeding continued to be required.
Feed costs for cattle producers remained high. Cattle were moved to higher elevation in an effort to locate sufficient forage. Sheep were grazing in fallow fields and along levies. Bees were in sunflower and melon fields.
Peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums continued to be picked and shipped. Reflective foil was placed on the ground in stone fruit orchards to promote coloring. Harvesting of early canning peaches started. Cherry season was over. Spraying for mildew and mites continued in grape vineyards. Wine grapes fungicide was applied. Late navel orange harvest was winding down, while the Valencia orange harvest continued. Regreening was utilized with the arrival of hot weather. Young citrus trees continued to be planted.
In Sutter County, summer vegetables were harvested for farmers markets. Processing tomato transplants and cucurbits were developing. In San Joaquin County, onion harvest started and asparagus harvest was over. Bell peppers were close to harvest.
In Fresno County, early processing tomato fields were ripening and 3 weeks from harvest. Sulfur was applied for mites and mildew. Carrots were irrigated and fertilized. Coriander seed harvest continued. Mildew control was applied to onions. Early dehydrator onions were 75% laying down. Lettuce seed was starting to bolt.
In Tulare County, summer vegetables were progressing well, with some crops planted and early crops harvested. Italian squash and cucumbers were harvested. Eggplant and tomatoes continued to grow and mature.
The hottest weather of the season so far descended on the State this week, as most of the State outside of the mountains and immediate coast reported triple-digit heat on at least one day. The heat built in response to a highly-amplified ridge over the western two-thirds of the U.S. The triple-digit heat likely had impacts in the agricultural sections of the Central and San Joaquin Valleys.
Even coastal locations and the mountains reached the 80s and 90s on multiple days. Lows were typically in the 60s-70s across the valley and coasts, although a few lows in the 50s were seen by the weekend. Lows in the desert hovered in the 60s and 70s, while temperatures dropped into the 30s and 40s in portions of the mountains by the weekend. Long-term dryness continued in the State.
Beginning on Tuesday, a Pacific low brought in some light rainfall to most locations. Scattered showers continued on Wednesday across most of the State outside of the desert and south coast. By Sunday, all of the moisture had moved out of the area. No snow fell in the mountains this week, which was typical for this time of year.
The combination of dryness and heat has reduced the mountain snowpack to the point of patchy cover in shadowed or low-lying areas and at the highest peaks.