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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (May 31, 2017) – Last week brought an upper-level ridge over the area leading to hot and mostly dry conditions. During the week, only a few locations received any measurable precipitation, Santa Rosa reported 0.03 inches on Thursday. For the weekend, a weakening of the ridge led to cooling statewide and a few more sprinkles across the northern third of the State.

The southern Sierras were now devoid of snowcover below 9,000 feet. The central Sierras still had about two to four feet of snowcover above 7,500 feet elevation. In the northern mountains, snowcover was largely limited to the peak of Shasta, where upwards of six to eight feet of snow. A few of the higher peaks in the northwestern mountains as well as the northern Sierras also had some remnant snowcover.

Temperature highs were in the 60s to 70s along the coast, 60s to 80s in the mountains, 90s to100s in the valley, and 90s to 110s in the desert. The temperature lows were in the 20s to 50s in the mountains, 40s to 60s in the desert, and 50s to 60s in the valley and along the coast.

Winter wheat was chopped for silage, and some was dried, as harvest was approaching completion. Harvested fields were being disced and planted to silage or other forage crops. Alfalfa fields were making excellent progress; and being cut, dried, and baled. Corn planting continued, and earlier planted fields were growing well. Corn fields were being injected with nitrogen to promote growth. Cotton was emerging at various stages of growth, and being irrigated.

Apricots, plums, early peaches, and nectarines were harvested. Cherry harvest was in full swing with good yields reported. Grapes were developing well with the favorable weather. Some grape leaves were removed to promote air circulation and light access to developing bunches. Thinning of immature stone fruit continued. New fruit tree orchards and vineyards were irrigated. Pomegranate and olive bloom continued. Mechanical and chemical weed control continued in orchards. Late Navel orange harvest was finishing up for the season. Valencia orange harvest continued. Old citrus orchards were pulled to make space for new citrus plantings.

Almond nut development was progressing well. Pistachio, walnut, and almond orchards were irrigated and fertilized. Mite control sprays were applied in mite impacted walnut groves. Some orchard floors were sprayed with herbicides and fungicides.

In Colusa County, the organic asparagus harvest ended.  Processing tomatoes were growing rapidly due to good weather.   In Yolo County, the snap pea harvest finished.  There was more blight than usual due to the high humidity and continued wet weather, but yields were above normal due to good bloom set and excellent growing conditions.  Organic fresh market tomatoes were staked and treated with copper for fungus.  In Stanislaus County, planting was finished for most processing tomatoes. Production was strong with transitions from first planting to second.  The weather was typical for the Salinas Valley with warm days and cool nights.  In Fresno County, herbicide was applied to carrots and onions.  Tomatoes were cultivated and weeded.   Broccoli for seed was cut and prepared for harvest.   In Tulare County, summer vegetables continued to grow and the fields were prepared for harvest.  Early planted melons were picked and shipped domestically.  Zucchini was harvested.  In Imperial County, melons and sweet corn were harvested and sold locally.

Foothill rangeland and valley dryland pasture forage quality was primarily in fair to good condition. Drying out of grasses continued in the foothills of the southern Sierras. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees were active in melon and vegetable fields.


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