California: Tomato Planting Has Begun But No Cotton Yet – USDA

    WEATHER

    Rainfall was sparse during the week with most totals below a quarter of an inch. Monday through Wednesday saw scattered rain showers across portions of the State with scattered snow showers in the Sierras. Coastal locations north of Los Angeles, the far north, and the interior deserts remained dry.

    Precipitation in the Central Valley was limited to only Monday. By Wednesday, the State-wide rainfall was limited to the San Diego area and portions of the deserts. Precipitation ceased as a dry air mass took hold of the State byThursday and persisted into the weekend. Rain showers fell on Sunday in parts of the northern and northwestern areas of the State, but amounts were light with less than a quarter of an inch of rain.

     

    Temperatures averaged 2-5 degrees above average for the week, but on the Central and Southern coastlines temperatures were slightly below normal. Daytime highs ranged from the mid-50s to 70s along the coast, 60s-70s in the Central Valley, 60s-80s in the desert, and 30s-60s in the mountains. The upper ends of these ranges were seen more frequently during the latter part of the week. Lows were typically in the 30s-40s along the coast from north to south, upper 30s-50s in the Central Valley, 30s-50s in the desert, and 30s-40s in the mountains.

    FIELD CROPS

    Winter wheat continued to mature as the crop was rated 100 percent good-to-excellent. Some winter forage crops were harvested in Tulare County. Cotton field preparation continued but there were no reports of the crop being planted. Planting was slightly delayed due to cooler temperatures in the Central Valley. Alfalfa growth was good with some fields being cut and baled in the southern Central Valley. There were some reports of aphid pressure in alfalfa fields that were recently cut.

    FRUIT CROPS

    Stone fruits set fruit in Sutter County.  Grape vines continued to leaf out.  Orchard weed control continued. Stone fruits were thinned, trimmed, sprayed for weed control, and irrigated in Tulare County.  Grape vines began to leaf out and some initiated bloom.  Both mechanical and chemical weed control continued.  Navel orange harvest continued and the Valencia orange harvest accelerated.  Seedless tangerines remained netted to prevent cross pollination.  Lemons were packed and exported to domestic and foreign markets.  Olive trees began to bloom.

    NUT CROPS

    In Sutter County, growers continued to apply copper and manzate to walnuts.  Some growers treated for scale.  In Tulare County, pistachio trees continued to bloom.  Almond trees showed rapid growth.  Last year’s almond crop continued to be packed and exported to foreign and domestic markets, as were pistachios and pecans.

    VEGETABLE CROPS

    Planting and cultivation of vegetables for farmer’s markets continued in Sutter County.  Tomato planting began as the fields were dry enough to work.  Onions for seed matured.  In Monterey County, the weather was warm and dry throughout the week.  Brassica harvest started strong and head lettuce harvest began at week’s end.  Harvest of other lettuce and spinach started slowly.

    Planting of onion, garlic, and processing tomatoes continued in Fresno County.  Processing onions were sprayed for downy mildew and processing tomatoes were cultivated, using best potting soil for tomatoes.  Crews weeded organic onions and organic processing tomatoes.  Carrots germinated.  Personal-size seedless watermelons were transplanted.  Arugula for seed was in full bloom.

    Black kale for seed finished blooming and appeared to be setting a good crop.  Red and green kale for seed were blooming.  Lettuce for seed will be planted this upcoming week.  In Tulare County, producers were growing winter vegetables and selling produce such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and carrots at Farmer’s Markets.  Onions were maturing.

    LIVESTOCK

    Warmer weather continued to increase rangeland forage growth in Tulare County, reducing the need for supplemental feed. State range and pasture conditions were rated 85 percent good-to-excellent.




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