Visalia, Calif., (March 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 Corn is being planted as weather allows. Last week’s rain helped with winter wheat and oats growth. Ground preparation is continuing for spring row crops. Alfalfa fields need more time to fully develop before harvest begins.
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. Almond trees have started blooming. Bee colonies continue being moved into almond and stone fruit orchards to help with pollination. Orchards are being monitored for possible damage from the recent freeze to the bloom, but the extent (if any) is as yet unknown.
Navel oranges, Minneola tangelos, and lemons continue to be harvested. The harvest of late variety navel oranges is accelerating. Some pruning and skirting of orange groves is occurring. Navel oranges are being exported to Australia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan. Packing houses are grading fruit to maintain good quality going to market. Minneola tangelos continue to be shipped to Japan and the Netherlands. Growers are carefully monitoring last week’s freezing temperatures for damage. Weed control activities are happening in some groves. Some olive groves are still being pruned.
Winter vegetables continue to grow. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are being harvested and sold at the Farmer’s Markets. Vegetable fields are continuing to be prepared for early plantings of squash seedlings. Squash is being planted under hot-caps and hot-tunnels. Greenhouse vegetables continue to be harvested. Strawberry and blueberry plantings are progressing well and are starting to bloom.
Last week’s rain was beneficial, but the rangeland forage is still in poor condition, but more rain is needed. The fed cattle market remained rose to $130.00 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.