USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (August 1, 2017) – The weather last week was hot and dry across the State. The summer monsoon across the southwest desert helped trigger some showers across the deserts last week, while additional pockets of moisture found their way into the Sierras and managed to produce a few scattered showers throughout the week. Rainfall was limited to Monday through Thursday across the interior deserts and parts of the central and northern Sierras. A few monsoon showers and thunderstorms dropped up to half an inch of rain in places across the desert, with most areas receiving around a tenth of an inch. A stray thunderstorm near Alturas in the northeastern corner of the State dropped nearly half an inch of rain. Snow cover continued to dissipate across the State; however, some areas of the Lassen Volcanic National Park still had nearly ten feet of snow in some areas.

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 80s in the desert.

Wheat was harvested for grain and shaft baled for straw. Alfalfa fields were being irrigated, cut, and baled. Corn and sorghum for silage were cultivated and irrigated. The corn silage crop was in various stages of development, from already tasseling to developing ears. Cotton continued to be irrigated, cultivated, and was growing well. Cotton was blooming and forming bolls. Black-eyed beans continued to be irrigated and cultivated.

Mid-season peach, nectarine, pluot, and plum harvest continued.  Some harvested stone fruit orchards were pruned and topped. Table grapes were harvested and vineyards irrigated. Wine grapes were maturing well.  Valencia orange harvest continued but was winding down due to high temperatures and fruit availability.

Walnut, almond, and pistachio orchards continued to be irrigated. Mechanical and chemical weed control continued in orchards.  Harvest preparation was underway in almond orchards. Almond harvest began in the warmer regions of Kern County. Pistachios were beginning to split. Navel Orange Worm sprays and fertilizers were applied to pistachios. Walnuts were sizing well.

In Colusa County, triple digit heat impacted the harvest of vegetables, including processing tomatoes and honeydew melons.  The processing tomato harvest was somewhat erratic, interrupting the smooth flow of ripe tomatoes to the canneries.    The melon packing sheds were affected by the inconsistent flow of fruit.  In San Joaquin County, harvest was ongoing for honeydew melons, watermelons, cantaloupes, onions, and fresh vegetable crops.  Farmers’ Market vegetables continued to be harvested and offered for sale.   In Monterey County, mid-year harvest and production slowed for two weeks.  It was expected to pick back up with more harvesting and preparation for the third or last rotation of the year.  All commodities, lettuces, brassicas, and spinach were in production.  Asparagus was finished and artichokes will pick up again in August.  In Fresno County, harvest continued for both organic and conventional tomatoes with lower yields than expected.  Quality was reported as very good.  Onions, carrots, and lettuce seed were harvested.  Soil was prepared for yellow peppers.  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.  In Kings County, the tomato harvest continued with a decent harvest reported.  Tomatoes were sprayed with fungicide and pesticide.

The decline in nutritional quality of rangeland grasses and forbs continued. Range and dryland pasture conditions across the state were reported as fair to very poor. Wildland fires burned some north state pastures and ranges.  Elevated temperatures continued to impact milk production. Bees were active in melon and sunflower fields.

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