Fresno County Department of Agriculture Crop Report for March

Fresno, Calif., (April 10, 2017) – In each District- oats, triticale, wheat and winter forage showed good growth and head development. Fields were fertilized and sprayed for broad leaf weed control. Grains planted for soil amendment in vineyards and row crop fields were disced under. The strong winds at the end of the month blew over some grain fields in the Kerman District. In the Firebaugh District, rice fields were prepared for planting.

Established and fall plantings of alfalfa grew rapidly and needed treatment from weeds and insect pest. Some growers started to cut and windrowed their crop. Across the County, growers continued to prepare for cotton, with a few fields being planted. Garbanzo beans in Firebaugh and Huron emerged and showed rapid growth. Planting of field and sweet corn started and wet silage was cut for dairy feed. Alfalfa seed was exported to China and Saudi Arabia. Shallots were sent to Mexico and Jack beans were exported to United Kingdom.

Bloom season ended for stone fruit and almond orchards in March. Both fruit and nuts were sizing rapidly. Pistachios began to push and new shoots where visible towards the end of the month. Pomegranates were showing good growth. Foliar feeds, fungicide applications, field irrigation, and weed control by herbicide spray or discing took place in almond, apricot, nectarine, peach, and prune orchards. Grape vines leafed out well across the County and were treated for mealy bugs and powdery mildew. Vineyards were treated with herbicides or disced to control weeds. Vineyards continue to be removed and replaced with almond, pistachio, or walnuts. Almonds, Asian pears, dry cranberries, dry figs, dry prunes, pistachios, raisins, and walnuts were exported to Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Viet Nam.

Spring arrived and with that the last of the winter crops of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, collards, gailon, and kale were harvested. Some roadside stands opened with strawberries and a few vegetables offered for sale. The rains slowed down transplanting of tomatoes, with roughly only 20% of process tomatoes being planted. Cantaloupe and watermelon plantings started in Huron district. Tomato and melon fields were fumigated, with herbicides and fertilized applied prior to planting. Garlic and onion fields were irrigated and showed good growth. Asparagus and blueberries were harvested. Spring lettuce harvest started on March 21, with good prices on both head and leaf lettuces. Parsley was also harvest in Huron. Lettuce and asparagus was exported to Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

The citrus bloom started towards the end of the month, and with that, mandarins and tangerines were netted to keep them seedless. Harvesting of citrus started to wind down overall. Post-emergent herbicides and foliar fertilizers were used in orchards. Grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, navel, and tangelo were exported to Belgium, Chile, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, French Polynesia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and United Arab Emirates. Olives in the Sanger District went through pruning and discing.

With the bloom season done in almonds and stone fruits, bees were returned to states of origin Bee incidents where up this season as the wet weather pushed back the application of dormant insecticides, which coincided with the start of bloom. The bees remaining in the area fed off the explosion of flowering weeds. Rangeland continued to be in prime condition for cattle and sheep to graze. Livestock was also moved out of alfalfa fields and into retired farmland. Ranchers shipped out cattle for processing.

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