Sacramento, Calif., (August 15, 2017) – The weather last week was hot and dry week across the state. The monsoon was not as active across the deserts. Rainfall was confined to the Sierras and northern mountains, with light showers dotting these areas every day Monday through Thursday. Most areas remained dry or received less than a quarter inch of rain, but a stray thunderstorm on Thursday near I-5 at the Oregon border dropped over an inch of rain. Snow cover was confined to the peak of Mount Shasta as well as sheltered, high-elevation locations around Lassen National Park. Packs were broken in these areas but may still exceed 4 feet in spots.
Temperature highs were in the 60s to 80s along the coast, 70s to 90s in the mountains, 90s to 100s in the valley, and 90s to 110s in the desert. Temperature lows were in the 40s to 50s in the mountains, 50s to 60s along the coast, 60s to 70s in the valley, and 60s to 80s in the desert.
Alfalfa fields were being irrigated, cut, and baled. Black-eyed beans continued to be irrigated and cultivated. Corn was being harvested for silage. Cotton was blooming and forming bolls, and continued to be irrigated. Sorghum for silage continued to be cultivated and irrigated.
The mid-season peach, nectarine, and plum harvests continued. Harvested stone fruit orchards were pruned and toped. Asian pears were harvested. Wine grape harvest began, and table grape harvest was in full swing. Olives were developing well. The Valencia orange harvest continued. Regreening continued to be a problem due to high temperatures. Finger limeswere being harvested.
Almond shaking began in some early varieties. As hull split was under way, almond orchard ground preparation continued for the upcoming harvest. Walnuts continued to be irrigated and were sizing well. Pistachios continued to be irrigated. Mechanical and chemical weed control continued in many orchards.
In San Mateo County, acres of beans and peas were in full bloom ready to set pods. In Colusa, Sacramento, Solano, and Yolo Counties, there were reports of 45 to 55 tons of processing tomatoes per acre being harvested. In Tulare County, certified producers were picking tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers for sale at local Farmers Markets. Yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, Bell peppers, green chili peppers, and cucumbers continued to be harvested, packed, and shipped domestically. Sweet corn harvest continued and was available for sale at roadside stands and local Farmers Markets.
Non-irrigated pasture and rangeland quality continued to decline. Supplemental feeding increased as the nutritional quality of grasses diminished. Some cattle were moved to high elevation pasture. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees worked melon and sunflower fields.