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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (December 19, 2017) – Dry conditions again prevailed through most of the State for the past week due to a persistent high pressure ridge. Mild afternoons and chilly nights were the typical pattern for northern California due to a blocking pattern along the west coast. Warm dry weather was the norm for areas in southern California. Air quality was of concern last week due to the smoke originating from the fires in southern California especially in the counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara.

Temperature highs were in the 50s to 70s in the mountains, 60s to 70s in the valley, 60s to 80s along the coast, and 70s to 80s in the desert. Temperature lows were in the 10s to 30s in the mountains, 20s to 30s in the valley and the desert, and 20s to 40s along the coast.

Growers continued to plant oats, triticale, and winter forage. Fields that were planted earlier in the season had signs of good growth. Alfalfa hay production finished up and bales were stored. Seed alfalfa was mowed for the winter. Cotton modules and rolls were still being picked up and sent to gins. Silage corn harvest was complete. Barley planting was complete.

The harvest season of grapes for juice, raisins, and wine finished. Some grape vineyards were irrigated, treated for weed control, and fumigated in preparation for replanting. Pomegranate harvest finished up. Persimmon harvest was complete. Pruning continued in some stone fruit orchards. Some older, poorly producing orchards and vineyards were being removed and prepared for replanting. Olive pruning and orchard cleaning continued.

Almond and pistachio harvests were complete. Walnut harvest neared completion. Almond orchards were cleaned for mummies. Older orchards were pushed out and the ground was prepped for pre-plant fumigations. Processing of stored almonds was ongoing.

Broccoli, carrots, and lettuce all have excellent stands for the winter season. Cultivation of organic garlic was ongoing.  Fresh onions fields and tomato beds were being prepared for planting. Organic cantaloupe harvest ended. Organic broccoli, celery, and spinach fields were growing nicely.  Head, leaf, and romaine lettuce for the fall season grew nicely with many fields starting to be harvested.

Non-irrigated and foothill rangeland forage quality was improving with some north and central state locations reporting fair to poor conditions.  Earlier rains and warm weather stimulated germination and foothill range and non-irrigated fields were showing green. Dairy workers were cleaning out corrals in preparation for winter.  Supplemental feeding of cattle was ongoing.

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