Sacramento, Calif., (April 25, 2017) – A relatively calm week across the State compared to the previous month. Temperatures stayed fairly consistent across the State with a slight warmup over the weekend. Early in the week rain fell on parts of the State. Then a dry period late week before additional rains arrived on Sunday. The heaviest rains fell along the northwestern mountains, the windward slopes of the Sierras, and the area around Redding. These areas received over three inches throughout the week, with parts of the valley having up to one inch. Most of the coastal areas between Los Angeles and San Francisco had up to half an inch of rain, while areas from Bakersfield southeast largely missed out on precipitation. Locations above 7,500 feet received snow shower. However, with warm temperatures, snowmelt continued in most mountain areas, with up to another foot and a half of snowmelt. Snowpacks are two feet above 6,500 feet in the southern Sierras, four to six feet above 6,500 feet in the Tahoe region, and six to ten feet above 6,000 feet in the northern Sierras.
Temperature highs were in the 40s to 70s in the mountains, 60s to 70s along the coast in and the valley, and 70s to 100s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 20s to 30s in the mountains, 40s to 50s in the valley and along the coast, and 40s to 60s in the desert.
Winter wheat was being cut for silage as the weather permitted. The wet weather early in the week delayed the cutting of alfalfa fields. Corn was being planted and germinating well.
Grapevines continued to leaf out. Fungicides were being applied to vineyards due to sporadic rains. Stone fruit leafing out continued. Fruit set was reported to be good and some thinning of immature stone fruit continued. Mechanical and chemical weed control continued in orchards. Old vineyards and orchards were pushed out to make way for new plantings. New orchards were being planted. The late navel orange harvest was drawing to a close. Valencia orange harvest continued at an accelerated pace. Orange groves were being row hedged and skirted. Seedless tangerines were netted to prevent cross-pollination by bees during the bloom. Some olive trees were blooming.
Pistachios and walnut trees bloom and leafing out continued. Walnut orchard pruning was winding down. Almond nut set was reported by some to be good. New orchard planting continued.
In Colusa County, the organic asparagus harvest continued in the Capay Valley, due to warm, sunny weather. The lighter ground in the area has dried out nicely which helped growers plant tomato transplants. In San Joaquin County, asparagus was harvested and packed and tomatoes were planted. In Monterey County, head lettuce, leaf lettuce, and brassica production and harvesting was running at full speed with most contracted harvesters returned from the Yuma and Huron areas. In Fresno County, most of the processing tomatoes have been planted with early-planted tomatoes blooming. Garlic and onions have been established with solid stands. Irrigation continued on carrot fields. Peppers were planted. In Tulare County, cucumbers continued to grow under hot caps, though their increasing size will require caps to be removed soon. Additional summer vegetables were planted without hot caps. Eggplant and squash were being planted as weather permitted. Early planted summer squash continued to grow and bloom. In Imperial County, processing tomatoes were harvested for processing, the carrot harvest continued, onions were harvested for seed, though mostly fresh market, and garlic was harvested.
Foothill rangeland and valley dryland pasture forage quality was in good to excellent condition. The amount of supplemental feeding of livestock was dwindling in response to the favorable range conditions. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees continue to be moved out of state as the fruit and nut bloom season was winding down for the season.