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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (February 7, 2017) – The week began with high pressure over the Great Basin. By mid-week an onshore surge of moisture associated with a Pacific northwestern system arrived. A brief break occurred on Saturday between systems before a second Pacific northwestern storm brought additional precipitation to the State on Sunday.

Widespread rains and snow fell across the northern two thirds of the State last week, with Monday and Tuesday being dry statewide. On Saturday, rain was confined to an area centered between Sacramento and Redding with amounts reaching up to a quarter of an inch. On all other days, light to moderate rains fell across the State. Most places in the valley received one and half to two inches of rain, with around one inch in the southern valley. Coastal locations received one to two inches of rain, with the Los Angeles basin receiving between half and one inches. The deserts largely missed out on the rains. Additional snowfall in the mountains were just under two feet in most of the northern and central Sierras, with one foot being the norm in the southern Sierras. The northwestern coastal ranges received up to six inches of new snow. Temperatures were cool enough to result in overall growth of the snowpack except at low elevations and latitudes.

Temperature highs were in the 30s to 50s in the mountains, 50s to 60s in the valley and along the coast, and 50s to 70s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 0s to 30s in the mountains, 30s to 40s in the valley and along the coast, and 30s to 50s in the desert.

Growers continued to wait for fields to dry out sufficiently to resume planting winter grains and other crops. The planted grains and field crops continued to mature at an excellent rate, reaping the benefit of the recent rain, and now sunshine. Black-eyed beans were exported.

Orchards in the San Joaquin Valley began to dry out, allowing for some orchard pruning and new planting of trees where the ground had been previously prepared for planting. Pre-bloom sprays were applied to some stone fruit. Pruning, tying, berm sanitation, and brush shredding were starting up again as vineyards and orchards dried. In drier locations the removal of older orchards and vineyards continued in preparation for replanting with new varieties. The Navel orange harvest picked up with the clear weather. Satsuma tangerines continued to be harvested.

As field conditions permitted, orchards continued to be pruned and brushed. Some late dormant sprays were applied. Almond buds were popping and swelling in the Southern San Joaquin Valley.

Winter vegetables continued to mature. Harvest resumed in some areas when weather permitted. In Madera County, weed control was ongoing for tomatoes.  Application of herbicides to mature onions occurred. Carrot harvest was about 50 percent complete.

Non-irrigated pasture and rangeland continued to green up in response to the much needed precipitation and warming temperatures. Range were reported to be in excellent to good condition. Sheep grazed idle fields and dormant alfalfa fields. Supplemental feeding of livestock continued but not to the extent of recent months. Where field conditions permitted, bee hives were staged in preparation for the pending bloom season.

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