USDA Crop/Weather Report

USDA California Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (June 6, 2017) – Last week started with warm temperatures, followed by cooler temperatures as a surge of Pacific moisture brought light rain to many areas in the State. Dry and warm conditions were felt during the weekend.

Precipitation fell in parts of the state on Monday through Wednesday, with Thursday through Sunday seeing no measurable rainfall. The heaviest rains fell over the northern valley and windward slopes of the Sierras north of Kings Canyon, where areas received around one inch of rainfall. All other parts of the valley received up to half an inch. Additional isolated showers and thunderstorms just inland from the San Diego area dropped up to half an inch on Wednesday. No new snowfall occurred last week. Snowcover was limited to the highest peaks of the southern Sierras, including Whitney, where one to two feet of snowcover still existed. The most extensive snowpacks continued to lie above 7,500 feet in the central Sierras, where one to three feet of snowcover still existed. The northern mountains were devoid of snowcover except for the peak of Shasta, which had up to six feet of snowcover.

Temperature highs were in the 60s to 70s along the coast, 60s to 80s in the mountains, 80s to 90s in the valley, and 80s to 110s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 30s to 50s in the mountains, 40s to 50s along the coast, 50s to 60s in the valley, and 60s to 80s in the desert.

Alfalfa fields were making excellent progress being cut, dried, and baled. Corn planting continued with earlier planted fields growing well. Corn fields were being injected with nitrogen to promote growth. Cotton was emerging and being irrigated.

Peaches, nectarines, and apricots were being exported to foreign markets. Summer pruning of stone fruit orchards began. Both mechanical and chemical weed control continued in orchards. Orchard floors continued to be lined with reflective plastic to improve color prior to harvest. Grape vines continued to have leaves removed to allow for improved air circulation and light around the developing bunches to improve color. Cherry harvest continued, while the peak of cherry season has passed. Valencia oranges continued to be harvested and exported. Grapefruit harvest was finishing up, with Star Ruby grapefruit being exported to foreign markets. Old citrus trees were being pulled to make way for new citrus varieties. Seedless tangerines continued to be netted. Olives were still blooming.

New orchards of almonds continued to be planted or ground prepped. Pistachio, walnut and almond orchards were irrigated and fertilized. Last year’s stored almonds and pistachios continued to be exported to foreign market places. Some orchard floors were sprayed with herbicides and fungicides.

In San Joaquin County, processing tomatoes were growing well. Summer vegetables were harvested and offered for sale at local Farmers’ markets. The asparagus harvest was over. In Monterey County, the price for lettuce and other commodities had improved from the previous week. Production and weather were good. In San Mateo County Brussels sprouts were planted and the fields were fumigated. Fava beans and peas were harvested. In Fresno County, tomatoes were cultivated. Carrots, broccoli, and spring lettuce were harvested. Onions were irrigated and prepared for harvest. In Tulare County, summer vegetables were harvested and shipped domestically. Melons were irrigated and cantaloupes were picked. Zucchini was harvested.

Foothill range and valley dryland pasture forage quality was primarily in fair to good condition. Drying out of grasses continued in the Sierra foothills. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees were active in vegetable fields.

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