Visalia, Calif., (July 7, 2017, 2017) – Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner released the current status today of Major crops in the most valued county in the California Ag portfolio. They report that Alfalfa fields are making excellent progress; and being irrigated, cut, and baled. Planting of corn and sorghum for silage is almost complete, but still being cultivated and irrigated. The corn silage crop is in various stages, from newly planted to already producing tassels, and the earliest planted corn is developing ears. Cotton continues to be irrigated, cultivated, and growing well. Early planted cotton is forming squares. Black-eyed beans continue to be irrigated and cultivated.
Mid-season peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums continue to be picked and shipped to domestic markets, with exports to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. Demand for stone fruit remains strong in the domestic market. Last year’s almonds and pistachios are being exported to the Chile, European Union, Hong Kong, and India. Walnut, almond, and pistachio orchards continue being irrigated. Both mechanical and chemical weed control continues in orchards. Grapevines continue to have leaves removed to allow for improved air circulation and light around the developing bunches to improve color.
Valencia orange harvest continues for the domestic market. Regreening is becoming more common due to the higher temperatures.
Certified producers are picking tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers for sale at the local Farmer’s Markets. Yellow squash, Zucchini, eggplant, Bell peppers, green Chili peppers, and cucumbers are being harvested. Blueberry harvest is slowing down in most parts of Tulare County. Blueberries are being exported to Canada, the European Union, Japan, and Taiwan. Sweet corn harvest is picking up with more roadside stands opening and sales at the local Farmer’s Markets.
Low elevation rangeland continues to dry and conditions are fair to good. Cattle are still being moved to higher elevations. The higher elevations are providing more grass than previous years. Fed cattle prices remained at $128.00 per hundredweight.
Surface water is flowing in many of the irrigation canals as the hot weather accelerates the snow melt. Many farmers across Tulare County are able to use surface water to irrigate crops this year instead of relying solely on pumping ground water. Wholesale nursery shipments to Canada and domestic markets continue. Small amounts of citrus nursery stock continue to be sold.