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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (April 18, 2017) – Another warm and wet week for most of the State as an active pattern kept rains over the northern 2/3 of the State. A developing storm system in the Four Corners region brought cooler temperatures to the State on Friday, but temperatures recovered quickly with dry conditions for the weekend.

Weekly rainfall totals reached two to four inches across the central Sierras near Tahoe, the windward slopes of the central/northern Sierras, and the northwestern mountains. The northern valley, including Redding, saw similar rainfall amounts. Lesser rainfall totals were seen along the coast and across the valley, where one inch of rainfall was the norm. The southern valley received about half an inch. Non-mountainous locations south of Bakersfield largely missed out on the precipitation.

Temperature highs were in the 40s to 60s in the mountains, 60s to 70s along the coast and the valley, and 70s to 90s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 20s to 40s in the mountains, 30s to 50s in the desert and the valley, and 40s to 50s along the coast.

Winter forage crops were maturing well. Oats were being cut, dried, and baled. Alfalfa fields were being cut and baled. Corn was both being planted and germinating.

Grapevines continued to leaf out.  Due to the continued sporadic rains, fungicides were being applied to vineyards.  Stone fruit trees continued leafing out.  Thinning of immature stone fruit continued.  Both mechanical and chemical weed control continued in orchards.  Old vineyards and orchards continued to be pushed out to make way for new plantings.  New orchards were being planted.  The late Navel orange harvest neared completion.  Navel oranges continued to experience rind issues.  Valencia orange harvest continued at an accelerated pace.  Orange groves were being hedge rowed and skirted.  Seedless tangerines were being netted to prevent cross pollination by bees during the bloom.  Olive trees were blooming.  In Stanislaus County, early varieties of cherries were turning red.  Herbicides were being applied to orchard floors.

Pistachios and walnut trees continued blooming and leafing out.  In Stanislaus County, field fumigations for almond pre-plants were occurring frequently.  In San Joaquin County, walnut orchard pruning was winding down.  New orchard planting continued.

Processing tomato fields were being planted throughout the State using transplants.  This is expected to continue for the next several weeks.  The asparagus harvest was well underway in the northern part of the State.  The cold nights limited production in the Capay Valley, while demand remained strong.  Lettuce and Brassicas were harvested in the Salinas Valley, though there were delays due to rain.  Cucumbers continued to grow under hot caps in Tulare County, though their increasing size will require caps to be removed soon.  Additional summer vegetables were planted without hot caps.  Bell peppers were planted in Fresno County and harvested in Imperial and Riverside counties.  Squash was growing and blooming in Tulare County and harvested in Riverside County.  Cantaloupes were transplanted in Stanislaus County and harvested in Imperial County.  In the Coachella Valley, harvest had begun for green beans and eggplant.

Sunny warm weather and sufficient soil moisture has promoted range grass and forb growth. Foothill rangeland and valley dryland pasture forage quality was reported to be in good to excellent condition. Supplemental feeding of livestock was diminishing in response to the favorable range conditions. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees were active in some stone fruit orchards. Some bees were moved out of state as the fruit and nut bloom season was winding down.

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