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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (September 26, 2017) – Fall arrived across the Golden State last week, with cooler temperatures, a wetter pattern, and even some snow at high elevations in the mountains.

Widespread showers fell on most parts of the State last week, the noteworthy exceptions being the deserts and the coastal hills between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The heaviest rains fell across the far northwestern mountains.

Cooling temperatures in the mountains led to the first snows of the autumn season at elevations above 6,000 feet last week.  By midweek, between six to eight inches of heavy and wet snow fell. Warm afternoon temperatures and warm ground temperatures resulted in near-total snowmelt. Mountain Shasta and the Lassen Volcanic Park received two to four inches of snowfall. The most extensive and thickest snowfields are currently on the peak of Shasta (up to 1 foot in places), sheltered areas in the Lassen Volcanic Park (up to 1 foot), and at elevations over 7,000 feet in the central Sierras (up to 6 inches).

Temperature highs were in the 40s to 60s in the mountains, 60s to 70s along the coast, 70s to 80s in the valley, and 80s to 90s in the desert. Temperature lows were in the 20s to 40s in the mountains, 40s to 50s along the coast, and 40s to 60s in the valley and the desert.

Alfalfa continued to be cut, and baled. Sorghum for silage was in various stages of development. Cornsilage continued to be harvested. Cotton bolls continued to open. Safflower was drying in the fields.

Stone fruit harvest was drawing to a close. Wine, table, and raisin grape harvest was ongoing. Raisin grapes continued to be placed on trays for drying. Finished raisin trays were rolled up for pickup. Asian Pears, pears, figs, and pomegranates were harvested. Kiwifruit in Tulare County were nearing maturity. Cherry orchards were pruned. Persimmons continued to gain size and coloring. Valencia Orange harvest was winding down for the year. Lemons were harvested and packed. Some orange groves were pushed out to make way for new plantings. Early apple varieties were harvested. Oliveharvest began in Tulare County.

The almond harvest continued. Walnut orchard floors were being prepared for harvest and sprayed for husk fly and Navel orangeworm. Walnut harvest began in some areas. Growth regulator sprays were applied to some walnut groves to promote development. Pistachio harvest continued.

In San Joaquin County, harvest continued for processing tomatoes, honeydew melons, watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins, peppers, and sweet corn.  Farmers’ Market vegetables continued to be harvested and offered for sale.   In Monterey County, the end of the harvest season approached with shorter days and warm and windy weather.  The produce quality was decreasing with increased pest and less-than-ideal production pressures.  Head lettuce showed seed-stem, wind damage, and tipburn due to weather.  Harvesting and shipping remained active throughout the week.  In Fresno County, tomato harvest was almost done with low yields reported.  Lettuce seed harvest was finished.  Carrots were planted.  Soil was prepared for planting organic garlic.  In Tulare County, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers were picked by certified producers and sold at the local Farmers’ Markets.  Yellowsquash, zucchini, eggplant, Bell peppers, green chili peppers, and cucumbers were harvested and shipped domestically.  Fall vegetables were planted and developing well.  Pumpkins were prepared for harvest.

Non-irrigated and foothill rangeland was reported to be in poor to very poor condition as is normal for the end of summer. Rain in the northern parts of the state will help range and dry pasture begin to recover. Supplemental feeding of cattle continued. Some bees were moved out of state as pollination needs were wrapping up for the year.

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