Visalia, Calif., (February 9, 2018) – Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner released the current status today of Major crops in the most valued county in the California Ag portfolio. They report that Winter forage crops, such as wheat, barley, other cereal grains, and forage mixes continue to be planted. Overall, grains and field crops are showing good signs of germination and growth. Alfalfa fields are progressing well, and some growers are continuing to plant new alfalfa fields. Pre-emergent herbicides are being applied to fields, and weed control is expected to pick up in the next few weeks. As always more rain is needed to maintain good growth and avoid irrigation.
Stone fruit, pecan, walnut, and pistachio orchards, along with grape vineyards, continue to be pruned and debris shredded. Some old orchards and vineyards are being pushed out to make way for new plantings. Tree fruit growers are applying fertilizers to prepare for the upcoming bloom. Dormant sprays are being applied as the weather permits. Some early varieties of tree fruit are beginning to show bud swell and a few of the earliest are starting to bloom. Bee colonies are now being moved into almond orchards in anticipation of the coming bloom.
Navel orange, Mandarin, and lemon harvest continues, while grapefruit and pomelo harvest is nearly finished. Some pruning and skirting of orange groves is occurring. Navel oranges continue to be packed and shipped domestically and exported to Australia, Chile, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. The warm weather is starting to impact navel orange quality. There is a steady demand for Minneola tangelos going to Japan and Korea. Lemon exports continue to Japan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Avocado trees are showing some early bloom. Olive groves continue to be pruned.
Some late winter vegetable crops continue to grow well and are being harvested. Harvesting of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and onions are steady. Greenhouse vegetables continue to be harvested. Field preparations for spring planting have begun. Strawberry and blueberry plantings are progressing well and some are starting to bloom.
The recent rainfall has been beneficial for rangeland forage, but conditions are fair until more growth is seen. More rain is needed to help with germination and growth of rangeland forage. The fed cattle market traded at $126.00 per hundred weight this week.
Retail nurseries are receiving more shipments of stock for spring planting. Bare-root roses are being received and processed for reshipment out-of-state, with most shipments going to Florida and Canada. Wholesale nurseries are shipping out bare-root trees and shrubs to domestic and export markets. Camellias are being sent to local and out-of-state nurseries.
Preparations are underway for next week’s World Ag Expo, happening from February13-15 in Tulare, CA.