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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (August 8, 2017) – Summer heat continued to prevail across the State last week, with a few isolated reports of rain. Monday thru Friday brought scattered showers and thunderstorms across the deserts, with most areas receiving up to a quarter of an inch of rain in one day. A few heavier thunderstorms just east of San Diego dropped nearly 2 inches of rain through the end of the week. Elsewhere, moisture advection combined with orographic lifting led to scattered light showers in the Sierras on multiple days. On Sunday, a southern-track system managed to clip the northern tier of California, dropping about a quarter of an inch of rain from Redding northward. Most areas in the State were finally devoid of snowcover, but sheltered areas at higher elevations in the Lassen National Park area still contained patchy snow, along with the peak of Shasta.

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

Corn and sorghum for silage was being cultivated and irrigated. The corn silage crop was in various stages of development from tassels 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 peaches, nectarines, and plums continued to be harvested and packed. Summer pruning and topping of harvested stone fruit groves occurred.  Asian pears were being packed and exported.  The table grape harvest continued with grapes packed and shipped to foreign markets.  Valencia orange harvest continued, primarily for the domestic market.  Regreening continued to be a problem, due to high temperatures.  Valencia oranges, Meyer lemons, variegated lemons, and finger limes were being harvested, packed, and shipped for foreign markets.  Olives continued to develop.

In San Joaquin County, almond orchard ground prep continued for upcoming harvest.  Almond hull split was underway.  In Tulare County, last season’s almonds and pistachios were being packed and exported.  Walnut, almond, and pistachioorchards continued to be irrigated.

In Colusa County, temperatures came down to the mid-to-high 90s, which provided a break from the triple digit heat recorded previously.  Processing tomato harvest continued and quality was reported as good.   In Yolo County, the processing tomato harvest was underway.  In San Joaquin County, harvest continued for cucumbers, honeydew melons, watermelons, cantaloupes, Bell peppers, and sweet corn. In Monterey County, the Salinas Valley was in a flurry with harvesting and shipping trucks.  All commodities were in production and market prices were holding steady at baseline cost.  Warm weather promoted seed-stem and decay in iceberg lettuce negatively affecting quality.  In Fresno County, harvest continued foronions and tomatoes.  The carrot harvest was about half completed.  Quality was reported as good, though yields were lower than expected.  Additional carrot planting was expected to start soon.  Yellow peppers were prepared for harvest.  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.

Non-irrigated pasture and rangeland quality continued to decline as condition reports across the state shifted into more poor and very poor categories. Supplemental feeding increased as the nutritional quality of grasses diminished. Sheep grazed on retired pasture and dormant alfalfa. Bees were active in melon and sunflower fields.


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