Fresno, Calif., (September 11, 2017) – Wheat, barley and oats were harvested, straw as stacked and baled; harvested fields were being prepared for rotation crops. Rice matured rapidly.
Alfalfa for hay production was ongoing; most growers were on their last cutting and fields were being windrowed and baled; alfalfa seed was being harvested, irrigation and treatments to control pests were ongoing. Cotton plants bloomed, bolls began to set; growers continued to irrigate and treat the fields to control lygus. Some garbanzo bean fields grew vigorously and were being irrigated, while others grown for seed production were harvested. Sweet corn grew well and harvest continued. Silage corn and sorghum were being cut for fodder. Alfalfa seed was exported to Algeria and Saudi Arabia.
Grapes for raisins were cut and placed on trays to dry; furrows were knocked down and terraced for grape trays; fields harvested earlier had been rolled and boxed already. Growers also started harvesting for wine and juice. Dry on vine (DOV) grapes were getting ready to be harvested; vineyard and orchard operators applied herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides; and the fields were cultivated and irrigated. Harvesting of nectarines and peaches was nearing the end; the fields continued to be irrigated and received treatments to control pests. The dried plum harvest was over. Persimmons and jujubes were ripening. Pomegranates were sizing rapidly; growers applied herbicides applications as needed. Walnut and well-established pistachio orchards continued to mature; the young pistachio orchards continued to be hand pruned and new orchards were being planted. Almond harvest was in full swing, growers continued to control the Naval Orange Worm (NOW), mites and other significant pests; fields continued to be irrigated and orchard floor was being prepared prior to harvest. Growers had paused on new almond planting waiting for the cooler weather to start. Export volume for stone fruit decreased due to the strong dollar and high domestic prices. Dry fruits (raisins, fig, and prunes), cranberry (being re-exported), apples, Asian pears, apricots, grapes, nectarines, peaches, plums/IS, pomegranates, were packed and exported to Algeria, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Viet Nam. Grape (Bud Stems) was shipped to Chile.
Roadside stands were selling summer squash, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, eggplants, Peppers (chili and sweet), stone fruit, strawberries, grapes, melons, and a variety of Asian vegetables (opo, long beans, and bittermelon). Summer squash, cucumber, daikon, jalapeño, eggplants, tomatoes, and bell peppers continued to be harvest. Huron District had harvested 75% of the cantaloupe, 80% of the honeydew, and 90% of the watermelon fields, which was a lower yield than normal. Lettuce seed had been harvested and fall crops of head, leaf and romaine lettuce were being planted. Spring planted sweet corn was picked, packed, and shipped; late season corn planting grew well. Winter squash (kabocha and butternut) became available. Harvesting of fresh and processing tomatoes continued. Garlic and onions were harvested and shipped to processors; growers had been preparing the fields for next year’s planting. Fresh tomato market harvest was complete in Huron District and processing tomatoes were about 85-90% complete. Asparagus ferns were high; hand weeding was underway in a few fields. Seedling broccoli in Firebaugh had emerged and grew well; organic broccoli in Huron had been planted. Growers in Selma District had transplanted their second crops of melons, cucumber, and squash and prepared fields for strawberry planting. Garlic, onions, jack beans, cantaloupes, honeydews, melons, and squash were exported to Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
Growers of citrus have treated their orchards for weeds and pests and irrigated the floor; some orchards had been treated for red scale. Olive orchards grew nicely. Valencia oranges from in county and lemons from the coastal areas were packed.
Bees have been moved to fields of melons and squash for pollination. Some beekeepers left their hives throughout district to enhance rebuilding of the hives. Cattle were fat and happy with all the rangeland feed; stockers were being shipped to market. Poultry and egg production was normal. Sheep grazed in a few harvested grain fields and were observed eating cull melons. The rangeland was parched and dry; hazy conditions persist due to smoke from mountain wildfires.