Fresno, Calif., (October 12, 2017) – Small grains (wheat, barley, and oats) were harvested; the fields were leveled, cultivated, and the soil was amended in preparation for new plantings. Rice was maturing and nearing to be harvested. Straw from harvested grain fields was stacked and awaiting shipment to customers.
Alfalfa seed production was nearing completion. Alfalfa for hay production was maturing well; growers continued to irrigate the fields, cut, windrow, and bale straw for livestock feed. Pest control treatments were underway in other fields. Harvested field corn was worked up into green chop and stored for silage production. Silage corn and sorghum were being harvested and the empty fields were prepped up for triticale planting. Cotton grew well and the bolls were opening; growers continued to irrigate and spray for lygus. Alfalfa seed was exported to Algeria and Argentina.
Wine, juice and table grape harvesting continued; late season table grapes were covered with plastic to protect the berries from “wishful” rain. Grapes in Selma District were cut and placed on trays to make raisins; 0% on the vine, 25% on open trays, 25% rolled, 50% boxed; open trays of drying grapes were splashed by two unexpected rains. Late season stone fruits were harvested. Growers irrigated the orchards and applied herbicides to control weeds; some orchards were fumigated in preparation for new plantings. Plums trees were treated for borer. Almond harvest continued; harvested fields were irrigated and received herbicide treatments; some growers pulled out vineyards and prepared the ground for fumigation to start new almond orchard; shipments of almond were picking up. Pistachio harvesting has begun in full swing; young pistachios continued to be hand pruned and the floor was being treated with herbicides; new plantings continued. Pomegranates were sizing, coloring, picked, and shipped to packers. Walnut harvesting has begun and processing was underway. Almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, nectarines, Asian pears, peaches, pecan, plum/IS plum, pomegranates, prunes, raisins, and walnuts were exported to Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, El Salvador, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Viet Nam.
Harvesting of green beans, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers (bell and chili), tomatoes, watermelons, and zucchini continued. Strawberries were still being harvested in Reedley District. Some growers in Selma District transplanted the second crops of eggplant, cucumber, green bean, and squash. Cantaloupes, honeydews, sweet corn, and watermelons were picked, packed and shipped and harvest season was nearing to completion; empty fields were cultivated in preparation for next crops plantings. Garlic and onions were being harvested and processed; packing and shipping were on going; growers had started to prepare the ground for next year plantings. Early planting of fresh and processing tomatoes in Huron District was 90-95% finished; late plantings of tomatoes had been reported to some lost due to unusual high temperatures. Organic and conventional cantaloupe in Huron District was winding down and organic broccoli, celery, and spinach were being planted. Broccoli grew well and the fields were being irrigated. Lettuce was being rogued and lettuce seed was being harvested. Plantings of lettuce (head, leaf and romaine) for fall had started; some lettuce fields received treatments to control thrips, aphids, beet armyworm, spider mites and whiteflies. Garlic seed from Oregon was processed. Melons, onions, and squash were exported to French Polynesia, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan.
Citrus was starting to change color and the orchards were irrigated; the trees were treated for scales and weeds. Lemons were packed in the Selma District. Olives maturing. Some bee hives were being placed around fields of melons and squash for pollination; others were being placed on vacant land for rebuilding of hives; and a few bee hives remained in local bee yards. Beekeepers provided supplemental feed to replace nectar and pollen normally foraged from blooming plants. Ranchers had left sheep and cattle grazed in harvested grain fields; cull melons fields; and in retired farmland areas. A few ranchers in Huron District grazed sheep in Westlands Water District set aside fields. The eastern slope of the Coast Range Mountains was very dry; rangeland conditions were dry.