Sacramento, Calif., (January 30, 2018) – A pacific storm brought heavy rains to much of northern/central California in the early part of the week, with light showers lingering until the early part of the weekend. Snow showers occurred in the mountains above 2,500 feet. Some areas in the valley experienced near freezing temperatures as a cold front passed through mid-week, while southern California experienced light showers associated with the passing front.
Temperature highs ranged in the 50s to 60s in the mountains, 50s to 80s along the coast, 60s to 70s in the valley, and 70s to 80s in the desert. Temperature lows were between 10s and 20s in the mountains, 10s to 30s in the desert, and 30s to 40s along the coast and the valley.
Winter forage crops, such as wheat, barley, and other cereal grains and forage mixes continued to be planted where ground allowed. Recent rain benefited fields that were planted earlier in the season. The fields had signs of good growth. Most winter wheat had emerged and was growing well.Alfalfa fields were being replanted with new rains, and previously planted alfalfa was growing well.
Pruning and brush shredding continued in stone fruit orchards and vineyards. Herbicides and dormant sprays were applied as conditions permitted. Persimmon harvest continued. Some older, poorly producing orchards and vineyards were removed and prepared for replanting. Navel orangeharvest continued. Navel orangeworm sanitation was ongoing. Pomelos were harvested. Olive growers continued to prune groves.
Pruning continued in nut orchards. Some older orchards were pushed out and the ground was prepped for planting. Some almonds were given a final shake to drop mummies that the mild winter did not remove. Early almond blooms were reported in the Paso Robles area.
Fields were being prepared and planted with winter vegetable crops, but activities have been slow due to wet soils. Lettuce continued to benefit from the recent damp weather and growth looks ideal. Strawberries were growing well. Fall carrots were a week away from harvest. Spring carrots had emerged and were looking well. Beds continued to be prepared for tomatoes. Garlic stands were established and growing well. Weed control was complete on organic onions while conventional onions continued to be irrigated.
Rangeland and non-irrigated pasture were reported to be primarily in fair to poor condition. Recent rainfall was beneficial, but more precipitation was needed for germination and growth of rangeland forage. Supplemental feeding of livestock continued. Sheep grazed on idle crop land, stubble fields, and dormant alfalfa fields. Beehives continued to be placed in almond orchards in preparation for the bloom season.