Visalia, Calif., (February 23, 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 Corn is being planted. Winter wheat and oats are growing slowly due to insufficient rainfall. Ground preparation is continuing for spring row crops. Alfalfa fields need more time to fully develop before harvest begins. As always more rain is needed to maintain good growth and avoid irrigation. Black-eyed beans are being exported to Cyprus and Korea.
Stone fruit, pecan, walnut, and pistachio orchards, along with grape vineyards, are completing pruning and debris shredding. More stone fruit orchards are starting to bloom, with the earliest varieties in full bloom. Some almond trees have started blooming. Bee colonies continue being moved into almond and stone fruit orchards in anticipation of the bloom. Almond orchards are being irrigated due to lack of rain. Almonds in storage are being exported to Belgium, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam. Pistachio shipments are going to Hong Kong, Italy, and Turkey.
Navel and Cara Cara oranges, Minneola tangelos, and lemons continue to be harvested. Some pruning and skirting of orange groves is occurring. Navel oranges continue to be packed and shipped domestically and exported to Australia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan. Packing houses are grading fruit to maintain good quality going to market. Cara Cara oranges are also being shipped to Japan and other Asian countries. Growers are carefully watching this week’s freezing temperatures for damage. Weed control activities are happening in some groves.
Winter vegetables continue to grow. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are being harvested and sold at the local Farmer’s Markets. Last week’s warm weather was good for onions and garlic. Vegetable fields are continuing to be prepared for early plantings of squash and cucumbers. Greenhouse vegetables continue to be harvested. Strawberry and blueberry plantings are progressing well and some are starting to bloom.
The lack of rain has left the rangeland forage in poor condition. More rain is needed to help with germination and growth of rangeland forage. The fed cattle market remained steady at $126.00 per hundred weight this week.
Retail nurseries are stocked up on both perennial and annual plants for the spring season. Bare-root roses are being received and processed for reshipment out-of-state.