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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (February 1, 2017) – The stopping of the Pineapple Express coupled with a retreat of the persistent upper-level trough that has been present over the western region for the last couple of months produced a week of warmer and drier conditions.

Temperature highs were in the 10s to 40s in the mountains, 40s to 50s in the valley, 40s to 60s along the northern coast and deserts, and 70s to 80s along the southern coast. The temperature lows were in the -10s to 20s in the mountains, 20s to 30s in the valley, 20s to 40s in the desert, and 30s along the northern coast and 40s along the southern coast.

Widespread showers fell on most of the state on Monday, with the heaviest rains seen in the San Diego area, where over one inch fell. Most other areas received less than a quarter of an inch of rain. Snow fell in the mountains, with the greatest accumulations in the 4-8 inch range in the area just southwest of Tahoe and also in parts of the southern Sierras. Tuesday and Wednesday continued to bring limited showers in certain areas, particularly the northern mountains and southern coasts. Thursday through Sunday saw no measurable precipitation at any reliable sites. Snow packs in the mountains continue to be in very good shape, maintaining cover through the week and likely increasing by 4-6 inches in the area around Tahoe.

Continued rains have benefited the growth of already planted grains and field crops, but the rain has hindered ground preparations for continued planting. Low spots in some fields were showing stress from repeated standing water. Farmers in some areas have been encouraged to report crop losses due to flooding.

Standing water and muddy conditions continued to hinder fieldwork for much of the state. Winter field work continued when conditions permitted. Deciduous fruit orchards continued to be pruned and brush shredded. Removal of orchards and vineyards continued in preparation for replanting with new varieties. Rain continued to slow navel orange and Satsuma mandarin harvest. Fungicide applications to citrus were made as conditions allowed.

Some almond and walnut orchards were impacted by falling trees due to strong winds and saturated ground. Nut orchards continued to be pruned and brush shredded as weather conditions permitted.

In San Joaquin County, conditions were drying out, which helped with standing water in the fields.  In Monterey County, heavy rains were welcomed, though the saturated ground restricted field access.  Growers began planting cole crops, as well as lettuces and greens.  In San Mateo County, the fields were still very wet and unworkable.  In Fresno County, the onions and garlic have germinated.

Non-irrigated pasture and rangeland continued to green up due to this winter’s rain. Range was reported to be in excellent to good condition. Standing water and flooding continued to impact some valley pasture and dairies. Sheep grazed idle fields and dormant alfalfa fields. Where field conditions permitted bees were staged 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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