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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (January 17, 2017) – A continued abundance of moisture across the State for the entire week tapered off over the weekend as the upper-level trough pulled away to the east with surface high pressure building over the western United States.

Temperatures were fairly consistent, but cooled slightly late last week as a drier airmass settled over the State.

Nearly all locations in the State saw precipitation last week, with the heaviest rainfall impacting the northern and central Sierras from Tahoe northward to the Lassen Volcanoes area, where precipitation totals reached near 12 inches. Specifically, the area around Blue Canyon received a total of 9.99 inches of rain. The coastal mountains received heavy rainfall with 4 to 8 inches falling, while most of the valley received rainfall totals between 3 to 4 inches. Even the deserts, received up to 1 inch of rainfall over the weekend. The mountains once again received very heavy snow this week, with some areas receiving 2 feet of snowfall in a single day. Lodgepole reported a total of 23 inches of new snow on Thursday. The heaviest snow fell in the Tahoe region and in the mountains just to the north, where up to 5 feet of snow fell. Elsewhere in the mountains, 2 to 4 feet was the norm in the Southern Sierras, with coastal ranges seeing up to a foot of new snow.

Temperature highs were in the 20s to 40s in the mountains, 40s to 60s valley, 50s to 60s along the coast and, 50s to 70s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 20s to 30s in the mountains, 30s to 50s in the desert and the valley, and 40s to 50s along the coast.

Recent rains benefited the growth of already planted grains and field crops, but the rain hindered ground preparations for continued planting. The forecast for optimal returns continued to look positive. Sorghum seed continued to be received for future planting. Hay alfalfa remained dormant.

Some pomegranates were harvested. Deciduous fruit orchard continued to be pruned and brush shredded as weather conditions permitted. Most post-harvest field activities were halted due to the heavy rains and standing water. In drier locations the removal of orchard and vineyards continued in preparation for replanting with new varieties. Blueberry planting continued, as weather permitting. Rains continued to slow navel orange and mandarin harvest. Fungicide applications to citrus were made as conditions allowed.

Nut orchards continued to be pruned and brush shredded as weather conditions permitted.  Most post-harvest filed activities were halted due to the heavy rains and standing water.

In San Joaquin County, winter Farmer’s Market vegetables were harvested.  Commercial basil fields were cut and packaged when weather permitted.  In Madera County, tomato fields were being prepped for planting.  In San Luis Obispo County, winter vegetables such as Chinese Napa cabbage, bock choy, parsley, cilantro and spinach were harvested.  Spring vegetables were planted.  In Fresno County, there were heavy rains, but winter vegetables remained in good condition.  In Tulare County, the growth of the winter vegetables benefitted from favorable weather conditions.

Non-irrigated pasture and rangeland greened up considerably due to recent rains. Range was reported to be primarily in fair to good condition. Snow and ice covered some grazing land in Modoc and Siskiyou Counties. Some dairies were impacted by standing water and sloppy conditions from the week’s precipitation. Sheep grazed idle fields and dormant alfalfa fields. Bees continued to be brought into the state in preparation for the bloom season. Bee keepers continued to feed their hives to compensate for the lack of blooming vegetation.

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