Visalia, Calif., (May 5, 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 wheat is being cut for silage. Alfalfa fields are making excellent progress; some are being cut and baled with the coming of drier weather. Dryland oats are being windrowed and baled. Some irrigated oats are being cut and dried. Corn continues being planted, and earlier planted fields are growing well.
Early stone fruit varieties are being harvested. The domestic market for stone fruit is strong. Some orchard floors are being lined with reflective plastic to improve color prior to harvest. Late varieties of stone fruit are being thinned. Cherries are being packed and shipped domestically, with some being sold at roadside stands. Walnuts are being exported to Thailand and the European Union. Both mechanical and chemical weed control continues in orchards. Grapevines continue to have leaves removed to allow for improved air circulation around the developing bunches. New orchards and vineyards are being planted and irrigated.
The late navel harvest is nearing its end. Navels continue to experience rind issues. Late navel oranges are still being picked and shipped domestically; with some fruit exports to China, Japan, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Valencia orange harvest continues at an accelerated pace. Valencia oranges are being exported to Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, and Korea. New citrus trees are being planted. Mature orange groves are being hedge-rowed and skirted. Seedless tangerines are still netted to prevent cross pollination by bees during the bloom. Olive bloom is finishing.
Early planted summer vegetables continue to grow. New fields are being prepared for planting of additional summer vegetables. Cucumbers, Zucchini squash, eggplant, and melons are being planted. Early planted Summer squash is being harvested. Blueberries are being harvested, with exports to Taiwan. Strawberries are being harvested and sold at roadside stands.
Range and pasture conditions at the lower elevations are drying and good to fair. The fed cattle market has good prices at $153.00 per hundred-weight.
Wholesale nurseries are shipping large amounts of stock to both local and out-of-state retail outlets. Shipments are increasing as the demand for Mother’s Day flower and foliage plants increases. Rose plant shipments are slowing domestically. Mature olive trees are being dug from groves and sold for use in landscaping.