Fresno, Calif., (November 8, 2017) – Early plantings of small grains had germinated and showed good emergence and growers continued to prepare more fields for fall planting of wheat, barley, and oat. Rice harvesting was underway in many fields; straw was baled, stacked and harvested fields were cultivated.
Alfalfa for hay production was finishing up with the last cuts of the season and growers windrowed, baled and stacked the hay; the fields received herbicide treatments. Corn, milo, and sorghum continued to be harvested for green chop. Silage corn in the Kerman District grew well and harvesting was ongoing. Growers have begun to plant triticale. Sorghum was harvested. Cotton fields were defoliated and harvesting was in full swing. Harvested cotton fields with crop residue were shredded and cultivated to comply with pink bollworm plow down requirements. A few fields were picked a second time. Soil cultivation was ongoing in preparation for next crops. Some fields with aged drip tapes were being pulled out and new ones were replaced.
Grapes for juice, wine and raisin harvesting was done; cultivation, irrigation, and pruning were underway in vineyards. Selma District was finishing harvesting grape for raisins; dried on the vine (DOV) was complete with growers hauling-in boxed raisins for processing and table grape vineyards were covered with plastic to protect the berries from the “hopeful” rain. Most vineyards have turned brown and are awaiting to be pruned. Some growers in Sanger District pushed their vineyards to be replaced with almonds. Harvest ended for peaches. Stone fruit “fruit-set” was light this year; exports were limited due to strong domestic markets. Plums trees were treated for borer and cherry trees were being pruned. Almond harvesting was complete and shipments were picking up. Growers started to prune, irrigate and apply herbicides to orchard floor; some older orchards were being pushed out. Pistachio harvesting was in full swing, with insect damage being light and non-splits was between 15 – 40%. Jujubes, kiwi and persimmons harvesting continued. Pomegranates in Firebaugh District were maturing nicely; harvesting continued and the fruits were shipped to packers in other districts. Irrigation, pruning, and weed control operations were ongoing in harvested orchards. Walnut harvesting had begun and the nuts were brought in for processing. Almonds, apples, apricots, dry fruits (fig, prunes, raisins, and re-exported cranberries), grapes, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, Asian pear, plums/IS plums, pomegranates, persimmon, and walnuts were packed and/or exported to Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Lithuania, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Roadside stands were selling the last of summer squash, peppers, and tomatoes. Vegetables harvesting continued in green beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, daikon, eggplant, peppers (bell and chili), summer squash, and tomatoes. Hard shell squash varieties of acorn, butternut, kabocha, and pumpkin started to become available. Processing tomato harvest was complete and the harvested fields were cultivated. A few fresh market tomato fields were still being harvested. Melon harvesting ended but some watermelon fields in Reedley District were still being collected. Garlic harvesting is complete; packing and shipping continued; seed garlic was harvested and sent out. New garlic crops were being planted. New fresh market onions plants were being treated for worms. Organic cantaloupe harvest ended. Organic broccoli, celery and spinach fields were growing nicely. Growers of blueberries started to prune and weed their fields. Head, leaf, and romaine lettuce for the fall season grew nicely with many fields starting to be harvested. The price for lettuce has dropped from $48.00 to $15.00 per box in three weeks. In Huron, lettuce fields were still being rogued. Broccoli in Firebaugh District grew vigorously; fields were being irrigated and harvesting was underway. Cantaloupe, onion, garlic, peppers, shallot, squash, and sweet corn seed were exported to Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Pakistan.
Citrus orchards were irrigated and were treated for weeds, insects (scales), and received foliar nutrient sprays prior to the start of harvest. Citrus maturity testing has started in Reedley and Sanger Districts and harvest is underway. Olives in Huron District were still maturing, while olive harvest has ended in Sanger District. Navel oranges, lemons, pomelos, and grapefruits were exported to Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Bees were being brought in to the Sanger District the Northern States to overwinter. Local bees were being placed throughout vacant land for rebuilding of hives and beekeepers provided them with supplemental feeds. Poultry and egg production was normal. Cattle were still fat and happy from grazing on the rangeland feed. Stockers were being shipped to market. Sheep were left grazing in harvested alfalfa and wheat fields, or in retired farmland areas. Rangeland conditions throughout the valley were dry.