Visalia, Calif., (March 17, 2017) – Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner released the current status today of Major crops in the most valued county in the California Ag portfolio. They report that Winter forage crops are maturing well. Some growers are starting to harvest silage. Alfalfa is making good growth with the warmer weather. Black-eyed beans are being exported to Cyprus and Korea.
Field work in vineyards continues with: pruning, tying, berm sanitation, and brush shredding. We are starting to see some bud break in vineyards. Cherries and late varieties of stone fruit continue to bloom. Kiwifruit are being shipped domestically and exported to Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan. Almond bloom is winding down. Bee colonies continue to be moved into nuts and stone fruit for pollination. Almonds are being exported to Barbados, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mauritius, South Africa, Spain, and Taiwan. Pistachios are being sent to Belgium, France, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Some persimmons and pomegranates are leafing out. Some walnut trees are blooming. New orchards are being planted.
The citrus harvest has picked up with the recent good weather. All of the recent rains are having some impact on overall fruit quality. Late navel harvest has started in some areas. Navel oranges and Mandarins are being shipped to Australia, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Minneola tangelos are sent to Japan and the Netherlands. Lemons are being exported to Japan, Korea, Mexico, and New Zealand. Star Ruby grapefruit are starting to be picked, with most of the fruit being packed for the domestic market. Late harvest Finger limes are being exported to the Netherlands. Valencia orange harvest should start this week. Orange groves are being hedge-rowed and skirted. Growers are starting to net the seedless tangerines to prevent cross pollination by bees during the coming bloom. Pruning of olives continues.
Squash are currently being planted in hot tunnels. New fields are being prepared for spring planting. Cucumbers are being planted under hot caps. Blueberries are blooming. Strawberries fields continue to thrive. Previously planted onions continue to progress well.
Rangeland and dryland pasture quality continue to improve with all the recent rainfall. Condition is excellent due to continued rainfall and warmer weather. Some cattle ranchers have increased their herd size to take advantage of the improved forage conditions. The fed cattle price is up to $126 per hundred weight.
Bare root rose nursery stock continues to be received, processed, and shipped out. Shipments of wholesale nursery stock are continuing to be strong due to spring sales. Local bare root nurseries are busy digging stock as weather and soil conditions allow. Wholesale citrus nurseries are showing an increase in orders for trees for commercial replants.