Visalia, Calif., (July 14, 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 Alfalfa fields are making excellent progress; and being irrigated, cut, and baled. Planting of corn and sorghum for silage is complete, but still being cultivated and irrigated. The corn silage crop is in various stages, from newly planted to already producing tassels, and the earliest planted corn is developing ears. Wheat harvest for grain is finishing up, and straw is being baled. Cotton continues to be irrigated, cultivated, and growing well. Cotton is forming squares and blooming. Black-eyed beans continue to be irrigated and cultivated. Last year’s crop is being exported to Korea.
Mid-season peaches, nectarines, and plums continue to be picked and shipped to both domestic markets and exported to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. Last season’s almonds and pistachios are being exported to the Belgium, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Walnut, almond, and pistachio orchards continue being irrigated. Both mechanical and chemical weed control continues in orchards. Asian pears are being exported to Mexico. Table grape harvest has begun throughout the county, and grapes are being exported to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, and Vietnam. Grapevines continue to have leaves removed to allow for improved air circulation and light around the developing bunches to improve color.
Valencia orange harvest continues primarily for the domestic market. Regreening is becoming more common due to the higher temperatures. Valencia oranges are being exported to Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Harvest is nearing an end due to the high temperatures and overall fruit availability.
Certified producers are picking tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers for sale at the local Farmer’s Markets. Yellow squash, Zucchini, eggplant, Bell peppers, green Chili peppers, and cucumbers are being harvested and shipped domestically. Blueberry harvest is slowing down in most parts of Tulare County. Blueberries are being exported to Canada, the European Union, Japan, and Taiwan. Sweet corn harvest is picking up with more roadside stands opening and sales at the local Farmer’s Markets. Melons are being irrigated and prepared for the upcoming harvest.
Low elevation rangeland continues to dry and conditions are fair to good, but quality is continuing to decrease. Cattle are still being moved to higher elevations. The higher elevations are providing more grass than previous years. Feed costs for cattle remains high. Fed cattle prices remained at $128.00 per hundredweight. Harvested grain fields are being sheeped-off in the southern portions of the county.
Nursery shipments are slowing overall. Wholesale nursery shipments to Canada and domestic markets have decreased due to the hot summer temperatures. Small amounts of citrus nursery stock continue to be sold. New wells continue to be drilled, with many existing wells showing higher levels due to increases in the water table.