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USDA California Crop/Weather Report

USDA Crop/Weather Report

Sacramento, Calif., (January 9, 2018) – At the beginning of last week, most of the State experienced mild temperatures and mostly dry conditions. At midweek a frontal system brought periodic rainfall and thunderstorms to the northern and central regions of the state, higher elevations received some snow. As the frontal system steadily pushed inland, precipitation slowly tapered off and slightly cooler, drier conditions arrived. Southern California experienced dry conditions last week with above normal temperatures.

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

Fields that were planted earlier in the season had signs of good growth but most fields were irrigated due to the lack of rain to maintain growth. Winter forage crops, such as wheat, barley, other cereal grains and forage mixes continued to be planted and seed shipments received. Irrigation was still necessary to maintain growth of those plantings that have germinated. Alfalfa went dormant, and fields were treated with herbicides or grazed by sheep.

Pruning dormant stone fruit started to reach completion. Persimmons continued to be harvested. Some older, poorly producing orchards and vineyards were removed and prepared for replanting.  Wine grapes were pruned and tied, along with having herbicides applied. Some growers prepared to apply winter dormant sprays.  The Navel orange harvest continued.  Pomelos were harvested.  Olive growers continued to prune groves.  Strawberry fields continued to thrive.

Winter shake for almonds finished. Pruning continued in nut orchards.  Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and pecans continued to be packed and shipped primarily to foreign markets.  Some older orchards were pushed out and the ground was prepped for planting.

Winter vegetables were being harvested. Some fields were being prepared and planted with addition winter vegetable crops.  Lettuce continued to grow.  Garlic and onion planting continued.  Harvested for winter greens such as cabbage, chard, collard greens, kale, parsley, and daikon continued.  Head and leaf lettuce has been planted for the spring 2018 crop.  Broccoli, celery, and spinach continued to grow nicely.  Asparagus fields were shredded in preparation for spring growth.  Lettuce and arugula seed were exported to foreign marketplaces. Tomato beds were prepared. The carrot planting was ongoing, while the fall carrots have not been harvested yet.

In San Joaquin County, sheep continued to graze on idle crop land, stubble fields, and dormant alfalfa fields.  Supplemental feeding of livestock continued as grasslands and rangeland lacked moisture.  In Fresno County, the lack of rainfall has left rangeland forage conditions poor.  Supplemental feeding continued.  Bare-root roses were being received and processed for reshipment out-of-state, mostly to Texas.  Bare-root berries were being received at wholesale nurseries.  Nursery shipments have slowed due to the winter weather and time of year.  Beehives were reported overwintering around Fresno County and were being given supplemental feedings.  Most feedlots were reported at full capacity.

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