California: Monsoon Moisture Feeding from the Gulf – USDA


Temperatures were once again hotter than normal this week, 70s-80s in the mountains with highs in the 70s to 90s along the coast from north to south, 80s-90s in the valley with even a few 100+ readings, and 100s-110s in the desert. Early in the week, even some mountain locations were over 90 degrees.

Nighttime lows were still quite warm for all locations except in the mountains, where temperatures dipped into the 30s-50s every night. Coastal locations reported lows in the 50s-70s from north to south, with 60s-70s in the valley, and 70s-80s in the deserts. Temperatures were slightly cooler by the weekend as a broad-scale trough began to dig into the western United States, dropping temperatures some 5 degrees.

Some locations received some light rainfall. The San Diego area received light showers on Tuesday totaling less than a tenth of an inch as a result of monsoon moisture feeding up from the Gulf of California. Locations in the northern valley and the northern mountains along a line from roughly Eureka to Redding and northward, received rain as a result of an upper-level low swinging into the Pacific Northwest. Rain totals up to half an inch fell Friday and Saturday, with the heaviest amounts in the mountains just to the north of Redding. Locations elsewhere in the State remained dry for at least the third week in a row.


Corn continued to be cut for silage. Sorghum silage was making good progress, with some fields harvested. Grain sorghum/milo was progressing well. Alfalfa fields were irrigated, cut, and baled. Rice conditions were 70 percent good-to-excellent. Cotton continued showing good growth but slightly behind schedule with less than 15 percent of the crop estimated bolls opening by weeks end and conditions were 90 percent good-to-excellent. Black-eye beans were in various stages of development.


Peaches, plums, and nectarines continued to be packed and exported. In Tulare County the pomegranate and plum harvests continued. Many prune and peach orchards were mechanically topped. The warm nights slowed the coloring of red grapes. In Napa County, growers were harvesting wine grapes earlier this year.

No European grapevine moths have been found in traps. In Madera County, some wine grapes were harvested. Flame Seedless and Thompson seedless grape harvests were almost completed. Harvesting of Emperor Grapes continued. Asian and European pears continued to be harvested and exported. Valencia oranges were picked and packed. Navel oranges continued to mature. Olives continued to mature normally. Citrus nursery stock continued to be sold and planted.


Pistachio harvest continued in Tulare County, but began this week in Madera County. This year’s almond harvest was in full swing, though in several counties almond harvests was near completion. Pecans, pistachios, and almonds were packed and shipped. Walnuts were irrigated and orchard floors were prepared for harvest.


In Monterey County, warm nights produced rapid growth of lettuces, however quality issue reduced supplies. Brassicas and other commodities were unaffected. In San Mateo County, harvest continued for Brussels sprouts. Pumpkins were growing and tomatoes continued to fruit.

In Fresno County, the harvest of organic processing tomatoes continued and some mold problems reported due to delayed harvest. Winter carrots were up to stand and were fertilized. Dehydrator onions were harvested with good yields reported. Late peppers were weeded, fertilized, and cultivated. In Tulare County, squash, Bell and chili peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, sweet corn, and cucumbers were harvested. Honeydew melons were harvested and packed.


Grasslands in San Mateo County were reported as parched. In Tulare County, foothill rangeland water and forage were very poor at the lower elevations. Supplemental feeding continued. Feed costs for cattle producers remained high.

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