USDA Crop/Weather Report

USDA California Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (May 9, 2017) – A broad ridging pattern over the western United States brought dry and hot weather to the State during the first two thirds of the week. Then a pattern shift over the weekend brought cooler temperatures and precipitation to parts of the State.

A few isolated showers were limited to the Los Angeles basin and the far northern mountains near Mt. Shasta with low amounts of precipitation. Saturday saw more widespread rains in a band from the Los Angeles basin northward through the southern valley into the central and northern Sierras. The heaviest precipitation on Saturday exceeded one inch and fell in the Sierras near Lake Tahoe, with most other areas north and south along the band limited to a quarter inch of precipitation. On Sunday, light scattered precipitation fell on the central/southern Sierras, southern valley, and southward to the San Diego area. Warm temperatures resulted in substantial snowmelt in the mountains during the week, with only about six inches of snow cover remaining at the 6,500 foot elevation level in the southern Sierras. Upwards of four feet still exist over 6,500 feet in the central Sierras, with over eight feet in the northern mountains over 5,500 feet.

Temperature highs were in the 60s to 80s in the mountains, 70s to 80s along the coast, 80s to 90s in the valley, and 80s to 100s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 30s to 50s in the mountains, 50s to 60s in the valley and along the coast, and 50s to 70s in the desert.

Winter wheat was chopped for silage. Alfalfa fields were making excellent progress; some were being cut and baled with the drier weather. Dryland oats were being windrowed and baled. Some irrigated oats were being cut and dried. Corn continued to be planted, and earlier planted fields were growing well. Warm and sunny weather allowed resumption of field work and planting throughout most of the state.

The cherry harvest started. Some early apricots were harvested. The late navel orange harvest was nearly completed. The accelerated harvest of Valencia oranges continued. Grapefruit were harvested. Seedless tangerines were netted to prevent cross pollination by bees during the bloom. Olive trees were blooming.

Walnut, almond, and pistachio orchards were irrigated and fertilized. Some orchard floors were sprayed with herbicides and fungicides were applied as needed. Some reports that the almond nut set was good.

In San Joaquin County, asparagus was harvested and packed. Processing tomatoes and sweet corn were planted. Farmer’s Market vegetables were harvested and offered for sale. In Monterey County, the quick start to the overdue season has slowed with volumes and prices evening out. Production was in full swing with most commodities going to harvest and in replant for the next round. In Fresno County, processing tomatoes were at various stages from planting to having fruit. The fields which had established good stands were receiving irrigation and fertilizer. Peppers were planted. Herbicide and fertilizer were applied to onion for seed. In Tulare County, early planted summer vegetables continued to grow. New fields were prepared for planting of additional summer vegetables. Cucumber, zucchini, eggplant, and melons were planted. Early planted summer squash was harvested. In Imperial County, sweet corn, onions, melons, and watermelons were harvested.

Foothill rangeland and valley dryland pasture forage quality was in fair to excellent condition. The amount of supplemental feeding of livestock continued to decline response to the favorable range conditions. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees continued to be moved out of state as and some were staged near unplanted melon and vegetable fields.

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