SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS:
Winter planted dry land oats are being harvested, baled and hauled for livestock feed. Wheat and alfalfa continue tothrive. Forage crops are ready to be cut for hay and/or silage. Ground preparation continues for spring forage androw crops. Cotton and corn are germinating and showing good growth.
DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES:
Thinning of late variety stone fruit trees is ongoing. Immature stone fruit continues to develop. Early varieties ofapricots and peaches are being exported to Brazil, Taiwan, Thailand, and Canada. Cherry harvest appears strong withfruit quality stable, with domestic shipments booming. Mechanical vineyard maintenance continues with vinetraining and leaf pulling in grapevines. Immature grape bunches are developing. Meanwhile bees are being placed inkiwi vineyards during bloom. Walnuts and pistachios are still blooming. Last season’s pistachio nuts are beingexported to Europe, Italy, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Israel. Almonds are being exported toJapan, Korea, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Chile, Mexico,Colombia, Russia, and India.
CITRUS, AVOCADOS, AND OLIVES:
Late lane navel oranges are almost done. Fruit quality and demand are tapering down as the season progresses, withfruit drop and softening becoming more of an issue. Domestic and international exports for late navels are steady;with fruit being exported to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, China, Taiwan Japan, China, Korea, Southeast Asia,and Mexico. Valencia oranges continue to be harvested and exported to both the domestic and international markets.International exports for Valencia’s continue to China, Japan, and Korea. Valencia exports remain steady, and will escalate as late navels trickle to a stop. Grapefruit harvest is sluggish, but exports of Star Ruby grapefruit areconsistent to Korea, Japan, and Mexico. Seedless tangerine groves remain netted for the bloom. Mechanicalmaintenance for citrus groves continues with orchards being thinned, topped and/or skirted. Lemons continue to bebagged for Mexico. Olive tree blooms are progressing well.
VEGETABLES, MELONS, AND BERRIES:
Blueberry season is proving to be quite productive this week. Blueberries are being exported to Taiwan, Canada, andJapan. Strawberry season is strong, with continuous bloom and mature fruit being picked. Harvested strawberriesare being sold at roadside stands throughout Tulare County. Early planted summer vegetables are growing, with newfields being prepared for additional summer vegetable plantings.
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY:
Rangeland forage is in continues to remain in fair to good condition for grazing. The fed cattle market remainssteady at $126 per hundred-weight this week.
Mother’s day is almost here. Local wholesale nurseries remain hectic as shipments of nursery stock are supplied tolocal and domestic marketplaces. Nursery retail markets are preparing for the onslaught of crowds for the holiday byincreasing inventory of foliage plants, flowering plants and cut flowers. Bare root roses continue to be exported tovarious eastern states, but shipments have decreased to just a few per week.
As a helpful reminder Mother’s Day this year falls on Sunday, May 12th.
Prepared by: Tom Tucker
Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer