Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending August 23, 2015.
It was another hot and dry week across the State. No locations in the State recorded any measurable rainfall throughout the week and the presence of high pressure over the Great Basin prevented any marine fog/stratus events along the coast. Temperatures began above average early in the week but a cooling trend took place midweek as temperatures cooled 10-15 degrees.
A warming trend began on Friday that lasted through the weekend and returned temperatures on Sunday back up to early week levels. Highs were in the 70s-90s along the coast from north to south, with 90s-100s in the Central Valley, 110s in the desert, and 80s-90s in the mountains. Lows were in the 50s-70s along the coast from north to south, with 60s-70s in the Central Valley, 80s in the desert, and 40s-50s in the mountains. Lows in the mountains dropped to near freezing at the highest elevations.
These temperatures were about 5+ degrees above normal for this time of year and are only acting to exacerbate the current drought across the State.
Alfalfa fields were irrigated, cut, and baled from Sutter to Imperial County. Bermuda seed was harvested in Imperial County. Corn was cut for silage and sorghum and grain silage continued to progress well. Rice conditions were 70 percent good-to-excellent, below the five year average for the third week of August. There were no reports of rice harvested by week’s end.
Sunflower and safflower were harvested. Cotton conditions were 90 percent good-to-excellent but slightly behind schedule with less than 5 percent of the crop estimated bolls opening by weeks end. Irrigation continued in Fresno County. Dry black-eye beans were in various stages of development.
The domestic demand and price for stone fruit remained strong. The season remained ahead of previous years. Stone fruit harvest began early and continued this week in Sutter County. In Tulare County, prunes were harvested. Peaches, plums, and nectarines packing continued and were exported to foreign and domestic markets. Early pomegranate varieties were harvested. Pears continued to be harvested and exported.
The lemon crop were reported as good in Kern County, with scattered reports of snails in some orchards. Valencia oranges were still picked and packed for domestic markets. Navel oranges were maturing. Olives continued to mature. Citrus nursery stock continued to be sold and planted. Potted grapevines were shipped to Florida. Olive trees were shipped to Texas.
Growers sprayed for weeds, mites, and walnut husk fly in walnut orchards. Almond harvest continued, with some reports of navel orange worm pressure occurring. In Kern County, the harvesting of Nonpareil almonds completed and the harvest of Monterey almonds began last week. There were no reports of pistachio harvest.
The harvest of processing tomatoes, beans, and seed crops continued in Sutter County. In San Joaquin County, harvest continued for watermelons, cantaloupes, Bell peppers, onions, sweet corn, and tomatoes. Harvest of vegetables for Farmer’s Markets continued.
In Monterey County, the warm weather affected lettuce quality with rapid growth and seedstem issues. Brassica harvest continued. The second planting ended and the third planting were underway. Beans, squash and herbs were progressing well in San Mateo County. Harvest begun for early Brussels sprouts.
In Fresno County, the processing tomato harvest was nearly complete. The summer carrot harvest finished and the winter carrots were planted and up to stand. Dehydrator onions were topped and irrigated. Squash, Bell and chili peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, sweet corn, and cucumbers were harvested in Tulare County. Honeydew melons were harvested and packed.
High fire danger continued across most of the State. Range conditions and fire danger continued to be unfavorable and required continuation of supplemental feeding of livestock. Sheep were grazing in fallow fields and along levies. Bees continued to work seed alfalfa, melon and squash plantings.