Fresno County Department of Agriculture Crop Report for February 2017

Fresno, Calif., (March 9, 2017) – Across the County, plantings of barley, oats, triticale, wheat, and winter forage are all growing well due to an abundance of rain. Some fields have already started to develop seed heads. Herbicides and fertilizers were applied to fields between storms. Ground preparation was underway for rice fields in Firebaugh.

Alfalfa broke dormancy but growth is slow. Alfalfa fields continued to be sprayed for weeds, with some having to be by areal application due to wet ground.

Growers started preparing ground for the upcoming cotton season by tilling, making furrows, and applying herbicides. Alfalfa seed was exported to China, France, Italy, Qatar and United Kingdom.

Almond bloom started mid-month, accompanied with applications of fungicides to control disease. Some apricot, nectarine, peach, and plum orchards, started to bloom as well. Fungicide treatments began in these orchards as well as being sprayed for weeds. Buds started to swell in cherries. Growers participating in the Mexico Stone Fruit Program hung pheromone traps for the Oriental Fruit Moth as of February 15. Vineyard operators applied herbicides to combat the increase in weeds after all the rain. Stakes and trellis wire were repaired. In some warmer areas, grape buds started to swell. Many vineyards around the County continued to be removed for planting of almond, pistachio, and walnut orchards. In pistachio and walnut orchards application of herbicides took place. Almonds, Asian pears, prunes, and raisins were exported to Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam. Pistachios were exported to Hong Kong. While kiwi was exported to Japan and Taiwan.

Strawberry plantings were delayed in some districts due to wet conditions, but where previously planted they showed signs of slow growth. Carrots were harvested and beds where prepared for the next rotation. Garlic and onions around the County were growing well and had herbicides applied. In Kerman district, cilantro, kale, leaf lettuce, and mustard for seed production was growing well. Lettuce and pepper seed was exported to Australia. Growers continued to prepare for tomatoes and eggplant by applying herbicides, cultivating and fumigating to control soil borne pests. Winter crops of broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, chard, collards, gai lan, and kale were harvested to be sold in local markets. Spring lettuce is growing slowly due to cooler conditions. Blueberries started to bloom around the County and fungicides were applied.

Cara Cara, lemons, Navel oranges and mandarins continued to be harvested between storms. Nets were placed around mandarins to exclude bees from pollinating. Fungicide applications were made in a few citrus orchards. Grapefruit, lemons, mandarin, Navel, pomelo, tangelo, and tangerines were exported to Belgium, Chile, China, El Salvador, France, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore.

Cattle and sheep continued to graze on the lush rangeland. Frequent rains have kept the rangeland grasses growing, providing excellent feed. Lambing season started with lots of babies produced in Huron district. Egg production ramped up again after the winter lull. Beehives were placed in lots of orchards and bees were busy pollinating.

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