Fresno, Calif., (February 8, 2017) – Heavy rains continued in January promoting vigorous growth in barley, triticale, wheat and winter forage. Fields have been fertilized, and herbicides applied. Dry-land barley have been planted and showing good growth.
The rains have put much of the fieldwork on hold, waiting for drier conditions. Between storms, growers reshaped beds, and added soil amendments for the next round of field crops. Sheep continue to graze in some alfalfa fields when other fields received areal herbicide treatments to control weeds in wet fields. First cuttings of alfalfa are rapidly approaching in Sanger district.
Working around storms, growers continued to prune, disc, and apply herbicides to orchards. Around the County dormant sprays were being applied between storm systems. In the Sanger and Selma Districts, early varieties of nectarines and peaches started to bloom. Almond buds are swelling in Sanger and Huron, loads of beehives were moved in. Work continues in the vineyards with pruning, tying, and herbicide applications. Around the County orchards and vineyards continue to be taken out, replaced with almonds and pistachios. Almonds, Asian pears, dry apricots, dry cranberry, dry figs, dry prunes, pecans, raisins, and walnuts were exported to; Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Viet Nam. Kiwi were exported to Guatemala, Japan, and Taiwan. Peruvian and Chilean grapes were re-exported to Canada
Preparation for spring planting has started in a few fields with weeding, discing, irrigation repair, and formation of rows taking place. Field fumigations for eggplant, strawberries, and tomatoes had started in some districts but most were on hold due to ground saturation from recent rains. Garlic and onion planting have all emerged and show good growth. Broccoli is growing steadily in Firebaugh, while asparagus fields were topped and shredded for spring harvest. Harvesting of carrots and daikon continued. Broccoli, cilantro, kale, mustard, and leaf lettuce was planted for seed production. Onion and lettuce seed were exported to Germany, Japan, and republic of Korea. Blueberries started showing signs of swelling buds in Selma district, when other areas remain dormant.
January had a few nights with below freezing temperatures but so far, no significant freeze damage has been reported in the districts. Rain also delayed citrus harvest in many districts but exports are steady. Around the storms, fungicide applications took place in many citrus orchards. Grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, Navel oranges, pummelos, tangelos, and tangerines were exported to; Chile, China, Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Tonga. Olive groves underwent discing, and herbicide applications to control weeds.
The rain has had a huge impact on the rangeland, creating favorable conditions for grazing livestock. Sheep continue to graze on dormant alfalfa and fallow fields. In Huron district, cattle are being shipped out for processing. With the almonds and stone fruit starting to bud, beehives were brought in from out of state to be placed in orchards for pollination.