The recent rains have fueled good growth in the barley, oats, and wheat plantings. Planting of these grains continued and herbicides were applied to control weeds as needed. Straw shipments were on going.
With the cold weather alfalfa fields have gone dormant, and have either had herbicides applied or sheep added to graze. All cotton growers have completed the shredding and cultivation to comply with the cotton plow down regulations; growers have started to cultivate and add soil amendments to make beds ready for spring. Alfalfa seed was exported to Algeria, Bolivia, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
Winter is the time for cleaning and all around the county that’s exactly what’s happening. Stone fruit and nut orchards were mostly done being pruned and shredding was underway. Dormant sprays and herbicides to control weeds were being applied. Vineyards were also being pruned and the vines tied. The trend is continuing of pulling out vineyards and switching to nut crops. Asian pears, almonds, pistachios, dried fruits (blueberry, cherries, fig, peaches, and pears), grapes, kiwi, pecans, persimmons, plums, prunes, and walnuts were exported to: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, India, Japan, Korea, Republic of, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Viet Nam.
Spring preparation has started with many fields undergoing weeding disking and irrigation repair. Fields were being fumigated for next season’s eggplant, carrots, tomatoes and strawberry crops. As the temperatures dropped, fall broccoli harvest came to an end. Broccoli fields planted for seed production was showing good growth. Asparagus fields where topped and shredded to prepare for spring harvest. Onion and garlic fields have showed good growth; while bokchoy, carrots, daikon and Napa cabbage continued to be harvested. Lettuce seed was exported to Greece, Korea, and Netherlands and garlic was exported to Mexico.
Oranges and mandarins were showing good color, the harvest continued. In Sanger district, harvest was approximately one third complete. Some freezing temperatures occurred early in the month but so far no widespread freeze damage has been reported. Growers have been running wind machines and burning small fires to protect the fruit. Although the rains have slowed entry into the fields for harvest, the moisture has helped with fruit protection. Cara Cara, grapefruit, lemon, mandarins, navels, pummelos, and tangerines have been exported to Australia, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Tonga. Exports had slowed do to glut in the markets in the middle of the month, but picked towards the end due to Chinese New Year. Olive groves were being disked and sprayed with herbicides to control weeds
The rains had made the rangeland grasses germinate, providing favorable grazing conditions. Sheep have been moved to alfalfa and fallow fields for weed control and pregnant Ewes are welcoming new lambs. Beehives have been arriving from other states and were being stored in local yards to be ready for spring bloom. Beekeepers were feeding their hives due to lack of blooming vegetation this time of year.