Sacramento, Calif., (July 25, 2017) – Another hot and mostly dry week across the State as a typical summertime weather pattern set up with mid-level ridging over the Great Basin brought dry air into most of the State. The summer monsoon began to ramp up last week, bringing some much-needed rainfall to parts of the southern and interior deserts. Scattered showers fell on parts of the desert on Tuesday and Wednesday, with most places receiving less than a quarter of an inch. A few isolated sprinkles fell in the central and southern Sierras on Sunday, along with more widespread showers in the southern deserts that dropped an additional quarter inch of rain in most places.
Hot temperatures continued to melt the snow in the mountains. Mt. Whitney was devoid of snow, while snow still blanketed parts of the Shasta Peak. A few isolated patchy snow fields still existed at elevations over 11,500 feet in the region of the Stanislaus National Forest.
Temperature highs were in the 60s to 80s along the coast, 70s to 90s in the mountains, 90s to 100s in the valley, and 90s to 110s in the desert. Temperature lows were in the 30s to 50s in the mountains, 50s to 60s along the coast, 60s to 70s in the valley, and 60s to 90s in the desert.
Barley harvest was completed. Alfalfa fields were being irrigated, cut, and baled. Corn and sorghum for silage were still being cultivated and irrigated. The corn silage crop was in various stages of development, from already tasseling to developing ears. Wheat harvest for grain was completed. Cotton continued to be irrigated, cultivated, and was growing well. Cotton was forming squares and blooming. Black-eyed beans continued to be irrigated and cultivated.
Mid-season peaches, nectarines, and plums continued to be picked and shipped to both domestic and foreign markets. Stone fruit continued to be exported. Summer pruning and topping of harvested stone fruit groves were occurring. Valencia orange harvest continued primarily for the domestic market. Regreening was becoming more common due to the higher temperatures. Olives continued to develop. Table grape were harvested. Wine grapes were maturing well and irrigation continued.
Walnut, almond, and pistachio orchards continued to be irrigated. Both mechanical and chemical weed control continued in orchards. New almond orchards were planted. Pistachios were fertilized. Walnuts were sizing well.
In Colusa County, the processing tomato harvest continued. In San Joaquin County, harvest was ongoing for cantaloupes, honeydew melons, watermelons, and fresh vegetable crops. The second planting of cantaloupe was underway for late summer and fall harvest. In Fresno County, harvest continued for tomatoes with lower yields than expected. Onions and garlic were harvested. Onion seed was dried. In Tulare County, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers were picked by certified producers and sold at the local Farmers’ Markets. Yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, Bell peppers, green chili peppers, and cucumbers were harvested and shipped domestically. Sweet corn harvest continued and was sold at roadside stands and local Farmers’ Markets. Melons were irrigated and prepared for the upcoming harvest.
Low elevation rangeland continued as dry with conditions as fair to good, but quality continued to decrease. Cattle were moved to higher elevations; where higher elevations were providing more grass than in previous years. Feed cost for cattle remained high. Nursery shipments were slowing overall. Wholesale nursery shipments to Canada and domestic markets decreased due to the hot summer temperatures. Small amounts of citrus nursery stock continued to be sold.