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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (May 16, 2017) – There was bit more variation in the weather pattern this week across the west coast with two separate storm systems developing and moving through the area. Each system brought a couple of rounds of light precipitation to various parts of the State.

Saturday was the only completely dry day across the State, with no reports of measurable precipitation. Every other day of the week saw very light and isolated showers at specific locations. On Tuesday, the interior deserts and southern tier received up to a quarter inch of rainfall. Thursday saw comparably widespread rain, as well, with showers falling on the northwestern mountains/coast, the northern mountain, and the northern and central Sierras. Friday and Sunday saw light showers in the central Sierras. Another late spring week led to additional snowmelt in the mountains, with snow cover limited to 7,500 feet and above in the southern Sierras. Up to 2-3 feet is likely above this elevation. The northern Sierras are also snow-free below about 5,500 feet, with six to eight feet above 5,500 feet.

Temperature highs were in the 50s to 70s in the mountains and along the coast, 70s to 80s in the valley, and 70s to 90s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 20s to 40s in the mountains, 40s to 50s in the valley and along the coast, and 40s to 60s in the desert.

Winter wheat was being green chopped for silage; some was being dried, with harvest nearing completion. Alfalfa fields were making excellent progress being cut, dried, and baled. Corn continued being planted, and earlier planted fields were growing well. Cotton was up and being irrigated. Soil preparation and planning for rice was ongoing.

Grapes and stone fruits were developing well with the favorable weather and water conditions. Thinning of immature stone fruit continued in some orchards. New fruit tree orchards and vineyards were irrigated. Pomegranates were blooming. Mechanical and chemical weed control continued in orchards. Cherries, apricots and some early peach and nectarines were harvested. The Valencia orange harvest continued. New citrus orchards were planted. Olive bloom was drawing to a close.

Almond nut development was progressing well. Pistachio, walnut and almond orchards were irrigated and fertilized. Some orchard floors were sprayed with herbicides, and fungicides were applied as needed.

Early planted summer vegetable were progressing well. New fields were prepared for planting. Cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant and melons were planted in Tulare County.  Sweet corn, peppers and melons were also planted. Processed tomato planting continued in Yolo County. Tomato planting was essentially complete in Fresno County and some early plantings were setting fruit.  Some early summer vegetables were harvested. In the San Joaquin Valley, some vegetable fields were irrigated and fertilized.    Herbicides and fertilizer were applied to onions for seed.  In Imperial Valley, melons, sweet corn, and onions were harvested. Strawberry and blueberry harvest continued.

Foothill rangeland and valley dryland pasture forage quality was in fair to excellent condition. Supplemental feeding of livestock continued to decline. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees were active in kiwi vineyards, melon, and vegetable fields.

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