USDA Crop/Weather Report

USDA California Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (February 14, 2017) – Another wet week across the State. Most days received widespread precipitation across a large portion of the State. Last week, the heaviest rains fell on the windward and southern slopes of the central/northern Sierras and northern mountains. Blue Canyon reported the largest precipitation of 14.16 inches. The northwestern mountains received four to six inches of rain, while the valley saw three to four inches across its northern half and one to two inches across its southern half. The immediate coast from San Francisco southward to Los Angeles received two to three inches. Despite warm temperatures, additional snow fell in the mountains through last week, the heaviest in the Tahoe region, where 12 to 18 inches fell. The northern Sierras saw eight to12 inches across the northern mountains, with the Southern Sierras reporting three to six inches. Despite the additional snowfalls, warm temperatures resulted in an overall reduction of four to eight inches in snowpack.

Temperature highs were in the 30s to 50s in the mountains, 50s to 60s in the valley and along the coast, and 60s to 80s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 20s to 40s in the mountains, 30s-50s in the desert, and 40s to 50s in the valley and along the coast.

Growers continued to wait for fields to dry out sufficiently to resume planting winter grain and field crops. The planted grains and field crops continued to mature at an excellent rate, reaping the benefit from all the recent rains.

Orchards in the San Joaquin Valley where conditions permitted, allowing for some orchard pruning, discing, weed control and pre-bloom spraying. Pruning, tying, berm sanitation, and brush shredding started up again in the drier vineyards. Where field conditions permitted the removal of older orchards and vineyards continued in preparation for replanting with new varieties. The standing water in vineyards and orchards caused for concern the health of the trees and vines. Early varieties of nectarines and peaches began to bloom in Fresno County. Navel orange harvest continued as weather permitted. Second treatment spraying for citrus fungal diseases was drawing to a close. Tangerines continued to be harvested.

As field conditions permitted orchards continued to be pruned and brush. Some late dormant sprays were applied. Almond buds were swelling and a few early blossoms reported in the southern San Joaquin Valley.

In Monterey County, frequent rain continued throughout the week.  The rain was welcomed as it cleaned salts from the soil profile, but it slowed field activities.  Very few fields were planted, but as the skies began to clear, work resumed on cole crops, lettuces, celery, and spinach.  In Fresno County, the carrot harvest was ongoing when the weather permitted.  Weed control was ongoing for tomatoes.  Garlic and onion plantings had emerged and showed good growth.  Broccoli was growing steadily.  In Imperial County, harvest continued for broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce.  Fields were planted with melon and sweet corn as weather permitted.

Non-irrigated pasture and rangeland continued to improve due to the winter’s precipitation and warming temperatures. Range was reported to be in excellent to good condition. Sheep grazed idle fields and dormant alfalfa fields. Supplemental feeding of livestock was on the decline as range conditions improved. Bee hives were staged in preparation for the pending bloom season, though muddy conditions forced many hives to be left on drier ground outside almond orchards.

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